First Friday: UNCG opens campaign at VCU
UNCG (0-0) at VCU (0-0)
Seigel Center • Richmond, Va.
Nov. 12, 2010 • Game 1
Radio: WCOG 1320-AM (Scott Pryzwansky & Rick Duckett) - pregame show at 7 p.m.
Internet: UNCGSpartans.com (free audio through Spartan All Access)
LiveStats: UNCGSpartans.com (thru vcuathletics.com)
Video: vcuathletics.com (subscription)
• UNCG opens its 44th season of men's basketball Friday night when it visits VCU for a 7:30 tip. It will be the first ever meeting between the Rams and Spartans.
• The debut of forward Taylor Hoffer will be delayed a little longer. After sitting out all of last season with an injury, Hoffer was expected to be in the rotation when UNCG took the floor tonight. However, the Washington native injured his ankle in practice this week and is out indefinitely.
• UNCG will, however, debut its new frontcourt of Aaron Brackett and Aloysius Henry tonight. Both are JC transfers that are expected to be immediate impacts.
• The Spartans have had a considerably new look over the last two seasons. In fact, just one person in uniform tonight was in uniform in the 2008-09 opener at Charlotte – Elhanan Bone. Brandon Evans was sitting out after transferring from East Carolina and Darrius Sellers was injured. From then to tonight, there are 15 new players on the UNCG roster, nine that could make their debut in some form tonight (not including the injured Taylor Hoffer). A list of top debuts by Spartans is available on page 6 of tonight's notes.
• The Spartans were picked anywhere from third through sixth this season in the preseason poll. The Southern Conference's coaches poll had UNCG fourth in an always tight North Division race.
• UNCG returns just one starter from last season, that being point guard Kyle Randall. In all, the Spartans returns 28.5 points per game from last season (averaged 63.4 as a team).
• The Spartans can argue that they have the toughest schedule in the country. Consider:
• The Spartans play six nonconference games against 2010 NCAA tournament participants. Only Gonzaga (eight) faces more. Oakland and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi also have six. Including a league game with Wofford, UNCG has seven total.
• The Spartans play eight nonconference games against 2010 postseason participants. Only Gonzaga (11), Miami of Ohio (10) and Florida (nine) face more. TAMU-CC also plays eight. Including league games with College of Charleston, Appalachian State and Wofford, UNCG will have a total of 12.
UNCG opens its 44th season of men's basketball this evening. The Spartans are 15-28 all-time in season openers, including a 5-14 mark since becoming a Division I program in 1991-92. Those 14 losses include games against Duke Indiana, Minnesota, Wake Forest (twice) and Nebraska (twice). In fact, one of those meetings with Wake Forest came in UNCG's first-ever game as a Division I program when the Demon Deacons were ranked No. 22 in the country – UNCG's first game against a ranked team. The Spartans lost the season opener at Duke last season. UNCG's last win in a season-opener came in November 2008. UNCG beat Georgia Tech in Atlanta in the season-opener, 83-74.
This is the 17th time in 20 Division I seasons that UNCG is opening the season away from home, including last year's season-opener at Duke. In fact, the Spartans have not opened the season at home since Mike Dement returned to UNCG. The Spartans' last season-opener played at home was in 2004-05 against NAIA-member Montreat.
Mike Dement's teams are 12-11 all-time in season-openers.
Taylor Hoffer will not play after suffering an ankle injury earlier this week. Robbie Dilmore also injured his ankle and will not play in the season-opener. Trevis Simpson has been recovering from a shoulder injury that he suffered prior to the start of practice. He is listed as day-to-day.
"HELLO, My NAME IS..."
The Spartans have had a considerably new look over the last two seasons. In fact, just one person in uniform tonight was in uniform in the 2008-09 opener at Charlotte – Elhanan Bone. Brandon Evans was sitting out after transferring from East Carolina and Darrius Sellers was injured.
From November 2008 to tonight, there are 15 new players on the UNCG roster, nine of which could make their debut in some form tonight (not including the injured Taylor Hoffer).
AND FOR AN ENCORE
Last year, UNCG played 12 games with an RPI rating in the Top 10. This year's slate includes 12 games against teams that played in a postseason tournament last season (NCAA, NIT, CBI or CIT).
SEASON TICKET COUNT
UNCG sold a record number of season tickets last season - 1,354 season tickets for the first season in the Greensboro Coliseum. Earlier this week, the Spartans passed the 1,200 mark for season tickets. However, while that number is lower than last season's, this year there is a new five-game mini-pack that some season ticket holders chose to renew as. There have been more than 400 of those packages sold, meaning more than 1,600 packages have been sold.
The capacity of UNCG's Fleming Gymnasium - the on-campus facility - is 1,831.
If you are a fan of Twitter, UNCG information can be found at several Twitter pages. For all general athletics information, the UNCG athletics Twitter is @uncgsports. The account posts all stories released on UNCGSpartans.com and also gives in-game updates for many of UNCG's 18 sports.
More specifically, UNCG coach Mike Dement has his own Twitter page @coachmikedement. Director of Athletics Kim Record has her own page as well @UNCGSpartansAD.
SPARTANS SIGN ONE
UNCG men's basketball coach Mike Dement received his first commitment for next season on Wednesday when 6-7 swingman Nick Paulos signed a National Letter of Intent on the first day of the early signing period.
Paulos is a native of Salt Lake City, Utah and is currently playing at New Hampton Prep School in New Hampshire. Paulos is playing at the same prep school that UNCG assistant coach Wes Miller attended. A product of Olympus HS, Paulos was a first-team all-state selection as a senior in Class 4A, averaging 17 points and eight rebounds per contest.
According to ESPN's Dave Telep, Paulos was being recruited by Creighton, Northeastern, Boston College, St. Mary's, Northwestern and Utah State.
"We are happy nick will be joining our team next season," said Dement. "He has a skill set that fits a need on our roster and, with his size and athleticism, he will allow us to match up more closely with teams on our future schedules.
"Away from the basketball court, Nick is a serious student with a great family. On the court, his prep year at New Hampton will be very valuable in his development. He will be well prepared under coach Pete Hutchins as they compete against high level competition all season."
Looking for 500: UNCG is closing in on 500 wins in the program's history. The Spartans have a 498-623 all-time record as a program. UNCG was 218-267 as a Division III program, 29-52 in three seasons at the Division II level and currently sits at 251-304 in the midst of its 20th season at the Division I level. UNCG has had 16 winning seasons in 43 years with Mike Dement leading the program to four of those.
Hold 'em down: UNCG is 45-23 under Mike Dement (this tenure only) when holding the opponents under 70 points. On the flip side, UNCG is 15-70 when the opposition scores 70 or more.