Niagara basketball

Niagara Purple Eagles basketball history

Niagara University (Lewiston, NY)
Gallagher Center
Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC)

Current head coach: Greg Paulus(2019-)

  • Asst: Bryan Smothers (2019-)
  • Asst: Brett Ervin (2019-)
  • Asst: Kevin Devitt (2020-)
  • DBO: Austin Kelley (2020-)


  • National Championships:  0
  • Final Four Appearances:  0
  • Sweet Sixteen Appearances:  1  (1970)
  • NCAA Tournament Appearances:  3  (1970, 2005, 2007)
  • NCAAT Overall Record:  2-4
  • NIT Championships:  0  (Runner-up in 1972)
  • NIT Appearances:  14  (1950, 1953, 1954, 1955, 1956, 1958, 1961, 1972, 1976, 1987, 1993, 2004, 2009, 2013)
  • NIT Overall Record:  9-14
  • CIT Appearances:  1  (2018)
  • CIT Overall Record:  0-1

Conference Titles (WNY3, ECAC, America East, MAAC):

  • MAAC Regular Season Championships:  4  (1999, 2001, 2005, 2013)
  • Western NY3 Regular Season Championships:  6  (1948, 1949, 1950, 1953, 1954, 1955)
  • MAAC Tournament Championships: (2005, 2007)

Award Winners:

Niagara head coaches:

Greg Paulus2019-Pres21-31000
Chris Casey2013-1964-129000
Joe Mihalich1998-2013265-203420
Jack Armstrong1989-98100-154000
Andy Walker1985-8959-58000
Pete Lonergan1980-8567-73000
Dan Raskin1976-8044-61000
Frank Layden1968-76119-97010
James Maloney1965-6835-38000
Taps Gallagher1931-43, 46-65465-261600
Edward Flynn1944-4518-1400
William McCarthy1927-3144-35
Peter Dwyer1923-2741-30
John Blake1919-2361-14
John O’Shea1917-199-3
Tom Tracey1915-176-11
A.V. Barrett1911-1537-33
Alfred A. Heerdt1910-117-7
Claude A. Allen1909-1013-3
Bob Yates1908-092-7
Jack Reed1906-0811-11
Charles McGrath1905-064-2

Key: CT= Conference Titles (Regular Season), TA= NCAA Tournament Appearances, NC= National Championships (NCAA Tournament)

NOTE: Overall program records on this page do not include anything later vacated by the NCAA. 


Basketball Recruiting Scholarship Chart
2020-21 Season

Color Coding

Black- Scholarship Player

Burgundy- Red-Shirted Scholarship Player

Red- Current Red-Shirt Scholarship Player

Purple- Non-Scholarship Player

Gray- Player No Longer On Roster

Dark Green- Signed LOI Prospect

Light Green- Verbal Commit Prospect

Navy Blue - High Interest Prospect

Royal Blue- Medium Interest Prospect

Light Blue- Low Interest Prospect


AI- Academically Ineligible
DM- Dismissed From Team
ERS- Expected Red-Shirt For Current Season
FWO- Former Walk-on
IR- Suffered Career Ending Injury
JUCO- Junior College Transfer
LDS- Eligibility Frozen Due To LDS Mission
LOI- Signed LOI
LT- Left Team For Personal Reasons

MHSP- Medical Hardship Pending Review
MHS- Medical Hardship 6th Year of Eligibility
MIL- Eligibility Frozen Due To Military Service
PRO- Early Exit To Play Professionally
RS- Player Previously Red-Shirted a Season
SU- Player Suspended for Season
TR- Transferred To Another School
VC- Verbal Commit

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Niagara Purple Eagles men's basketball

Niagara Purple Eagles
UniversityNiagara University
All-time record1492–1274–1 (.539)
Head coachGreg Paulus (2nd season)
LocationLewiston, New York
ArenaGallagher Center
(Capacity: 2,400)
NicknamePurple Eagles
ColorsPurple and white[1]
1970, 2005, 2007
MAAC: 2005, 2007
WNY3: 1948, 1949, 1950, 1953, 1954, 1955
MAAC: 1999, 2005, 2013
For information on all Niagara University sports, see Niagara Purple Eagles

The Niagara Purple Eagles men's basketball team is the college basketball team that represents Niagara University in Lewiston, New York, United States. The school's team currently competes in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference. The team formerly played at the now-defunct Niagara Falls Convention and Civic Center from 1973 to 1982 and from 1988 to 1996.


Niagara has played in the NCAA Tournament three times. They last played in the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament in 2007. They played in the National Invitation Tournament on 14 occasions, advancing to the championship game in 1972 before losing to Maryland.[2] Niagara has been ranked in the AP Final Polls twice, 16th in 1954 and 17th in 1970.[3]


NCAA Tournament results[edit]

The Purple Eagles have appeared in three NCAA Tournaments. Their combined record is 2–4.

Year Round Opponent Result
1970First Round
Sweet Sixteen
Regional Third Place Game
North Carolina State
W 79–69
L 73–98
L 88–108
2005First RoundOklahomaL 67–85
2007Opening Round
First Round
Florida A&M
W 77–69
L 67–107

NIT results[edit]

The Purple Eagles have appeared in 14 National Invitation Tournaments. Their combined record is 9–14.

Year Round Opponent Result
1950First RoundWestern KentuckyL 72–79
1953First Round
Seton Hall
W 82–76
L 74–79
3rd Place Game
Western Kentucky
W 77–74
L 51–66
W 71–65
1955First Round
W 83–70
L 83–85
1956QuarterfinalsSt. Francis (NY)L 72–74
1958First RoundXavierL 86–95
1961QuarterfinalsProvidenceL 68–71
1972First Round
St. John's
W 76–57
W 65–60
W 69–67
L 69–100
1976First RoundKentuckyL 61–67
1987First Round
Second Round
Seton Hall
La Salle
W 74–65
L 81–89
1993First RoundBoston CollegeL 83–87
2004Opening Round
First Round
W 87–83
L 70–78
2009First RoundRhode IslandL 62–68
2013First RoundMarylandL 72–86

CIT results[edit]

The Purple Eagles made their first appearance in the Postseason Tournament (CIT) in 2018. Their record is 0–1.

Year Round Opponent Result
2018First RoundEastern MichiganL 65–83


Season Team Overall Conference Standing Postseason
Niagara University Purple Eagles(Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference)(1989–Present)
1986–87 Niagara 21-1014-42ndNIT Second round
1987–88 Niagara 15-1512-64th
1988–99 Niagara 9–196-127th
1989–90 Niagara 6–225–11T–4th
1990–91 Niagara 8–206–106th
1991–92 Niagara 14–148–8T–5th
1992–93 Niagara 23–711–32ndNIT First round
1993–94 Niagara 6–213–11T–7th
1994–95 Niagara 5–252–128th
1995–96 Niagara 13–156–86th
1996–97 Niagara 11–175–9T–5th
1997–98 Niagara 14–1310–8T–3rd
1998–99 Niagara 17–1213–5T–1st
1999–00 Niagara 17–1210–8T–4th
2000–01 Niagara 15–1312–6T–1st
2001–02 Niagara 18–1410–6T–3rd
2002–03 Niagara 17–1212–6T–3rd
2003–04 Niagara 22–1013–52ndNIT First round
2004–05 Niagara 20–1013–5T–1stNCAA First Round
2005–06 Niagara 11–187–11T–7th
2006–07 Niagara 23–1213–52ndNCAA First Round
2007–08 Niagara 19–1012–6T–3rd
2008–09 Niagara 26–914–42ndNIT First round
2009–10 Niagara 18–159–9T–5th
2010–11 Niagara 9–235–138th
2011–12 Niagara 14–198–10T–6th
2012–13Niagara19–1413–51stNIT First round
2017–18Niagara19–1412–63rdCIT First round
Niagara Purple Eagles:450–517 (.465)275–281 (.495)
Total:450–517 (.465)

      National champion        Postseason invitational champion  
      Conference regular season champion         Conference regular season and conference tournament champion
      Division regular season champion      Division regular season and conference tournament champion
      Conference tournament champion

Niagara wins vs. the AP Top 25[edit]

Year Opponent Score Site
1950–51 #17 St.Bonaventure
#7 St.Johns
W 72–57
W 77–75
1953–54 #6 La Salle
#16 La Salle
#14 Dayton
#4 Western Kentucky
W 74–66
W 69–50
W 77-74
W 71-65
1954–55 #14 Holy Cross W 72–68 Away
1955–56 #18 La Salle W 72-70 Away
1957–58 #16 Western Kentucky W 77-74 OT Neutral
1960–61 #2 St. Bonaventure W 87-77 Away
1966–67 #9 Providence W 77-76 Home
1969–70 #6 Tennessee
#7 Pennsylvania
W 69-68
W 79-69
1970–71 #9 Drake W 87-77 Neutral
1984–85 #4 St.Johns W 62-59 Home

Head coaches[edit]

Greg Paulus* 2019–present 2 20 30 0.400
Patrick Beilein[4]* 2019* N/A N/A N/A N/A
Chris Casey2013–20196641290.332
Joe Mihalich1998–2013152652030.566
Jack Armstrong1989–199891001540.394
Andy Walker1985–1989459580.504
Pete Lonergan1980–1985567730.479
Dan Raskin1976–1980444610.419
Frank Layden1968–19768119970.551
James Maloney1965–1968335380.479
Taps Gallagher1946–1965193001720.636
Edward T. Flynn1944–1946218140.562
Taps Gallagher1931–194312165890.650
William McCarthy1927–1931444350.557
Peter Dwyer1923–1927441300.577
John Blake1919–1923461140.813

*-Beilein was hired in March 2019 but resigned in October 2019 without having coached a game;[5] Paulus was named interim head coach in his place.

Purple Eagles in the NBA or National leagues[edit]


External links[edit]


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