GREENSBORO, N.C. – The UNCG men’s basketball team will open the home portion of the 2017-18 season Wednesday night as the Spartans begin a four-game home stretch by welcoming in North Carolina Wesleyan on campus at Fleming Gymnasium. Game time is set for 7 p.m. in the Coleman Building and will be streamed on the SoCon Digital Network. Scott Pryzwansky and Darryl Kosciak will be on the call. Additionally, the game will be audio streamed on the TuneIn App with links for both broadcasts at www.uncgspartans.com.
The Spartans are coming off a season-opening 60-48 loss at Atlantic Coast Conference foe Virginia Friday night. The Cavaliers held the Spartans to just 29.4 percent (15-of-51) shooting from the field and only 15.4 percent (4-of-26) from 3-point land. UNCG did out-rebound Virginia by a 36-30 margin, including 16 offensive rebounds.
Senior forward Marvin Smith (Richmond, Va./Fork Union Military Academy) led the way with 12 point and nine rebounds as he was 6-of-6 from the free throw line. Junior guard Francis Alonso (Malaga, Spain/Cushing Academy) added nine points while sophomore forward Kyrin Galloway (Milton, Ga./Milton) came off the bench and scored seven points.
The Spartans are coming off one of their best seasons in program history, posting a 25-10 record last year and winning the Southern Conference regular season title with a 14-4 mark. UNCG played in the postseason for the second-straight year, earning the league’s automatic bid in the National Invitation Tournament (NIT), playing Syracuse on the road.
The Spartans were picked to finish fifth in the preseason coaches’ poll and third in the preseason media poll in the SoCon. UNCG returns 11 letterwinners from last year’s team but will have to replace to starters that combined to average 35 percent of the team’s scores and 28 percent of the team’s rebounding.
Alonso led the team in scoring last year after averaging a team-best 14.9 points per game. He ranked third in NCAA Division I in 3-point shooting last year, hitting 46.2 percent (102-of-221) from deep. His 102 made 3-pointers were a single-season record at UNCG. Smith was the second-leading scorer returning this year. Smith averaged 9.1 points per game while grabbing 4.1 rebounds per game. He connected on 55 3-pointers last season, hitting 31.4 percent from long range.
Junior guard Demetrius Troy (Raleigh, N.C./Word of God) averaged 6.9 points per game and was second on the team with 117 assists. Troy connected on 44 3-pointers last year, shooting 38.3 percent. Redshirt sophomore James Dickey (Raleigh, N.C./Word of God) averaged 6.3 points per game last year and lead the team on the glass grabbing 7.2 rebounds per game. Senior forward Jordy Kuiper (Groningen, Netherlands/Canaries Basketball Academy) chipped in 5.3 points and 4.4 rebounds per game last year.
The Spartans and Bishops have met 46 times in program history with the Spartans leading the all-time series by a 30-16 mark. The teams have not met since UNCG moved to NCAA Division I. The Bishops won the last meeting January 21, 1989 by a 64-62 margin in Greensboro. In fact, the Spartans’ first-ever win in program history came against North Carolina Wesleyan in the 1967-68 season by an 87-65 score.
North Carolina Wesleyan is an NCAA Division III member that posted a 13-12 record last year. The Bishops already played a game this year, dropping a 105-81 contest at UNCW Saturday in the Seahawks’ opener. The Bishops connected on 40.6 percent (30-of-75) from the field and 37 percent (10-of-27) from 3-point land in the loss. Adrian Moore led the way with 14 points while A.J. Frye and Damon McDowell posted 12 points each.
Last year, N.C. Wesleyan averaged 80.8 points per game and shot 45.3 percent from the field along with 34.1 percent from 3-point land. Moore led the Bishops in scoring at 20.8 points per game while grabbing 8.8 rebounds per game. Justin Tankelewicz was second on the team averaging 14.3 points per game while shooting 36.7 percent from 3-point land. Frye chipped in 12.9 points per game and shot 63.6 percent from the field.
-- UNCG --