Complete Game Notes
About Tonight's Game
The Spartans continue their five-game home stand on Thursday when they host Appalachian State in a key Southern Conference North Division battle ... this is the second meeting of the season between the Spartans and Mountaineers as ASU defeated UNCG 78-64 on Dec. 1 in Boone ... UNCG is looking to extend its winning streak to five games, already the longest such streak in four seasons ... a UNCG win coupled with a loss by Elon to Western Carolina would move the Spartans to the top of the North Division standings.
About the Series
Appalachian State owns a slim 20-16 edge in the all-time series, including an 78-64 win in Boone in early December. The Mountaineers have won five of the last six games in the series, with the teams splitting the series a season ago. UNCG's has lost the last three meetings in Greensboro.
Dement Steps Aside as Men's Basketball Coach; Miller Named as Interim
UNCG men's basketball head coach Mike Dement and Director of Athletics Kim Record on Dec. 13 reached a mutual agreement that Dement will no longer serve as head coach, effective immediately. A national search for a permanent men's basketball coach will be conducted.
Assistant coach Wes Miller was named as interim head coach for the remainder of the season.
"In the interests of the long-term health of the men's basketball program, Mike and I have agreed that a change is necessary in order for the program to move forward," said Record. "Coach Dement has been professional, ethical and committed to leading our efforts to enhance men's basketball with the program's move to the Greensboro Coliseum and the nonconference scheduling philosophy put in place over the last three seasons. We thank him for his contributions to UNCG's basketball program."
Dement was in the seventh season of his second tenure as head coach of the Spartans. He returned to UNCG on April 9, 2005, after previously serving as head coach from 1991-95. In 11 total seasons as UNCG's head coach, Dement posted a 124-181 record. The 124 victories are a school record for men's basketball.
UNCG's first men's basketball head coach in the school's Division I era, Dement coached the Spartans to a Big South Conference championship and a school-record 23 wins during the 1994-95 season before leaving to take a head coaching position at SMU. Dement is 329-368 in 25 seasons as a collegiate head coach.
Miller, 28, is in his second season on staff with the Spartans. He has previous Division I coaching experience as an assistant at both Elon and High Point. A native of Charlotte, Miller lettered three seasons at North Carolina, helping the Tar Heels to the 2005 national championship. He graduated from UNC in 2007 with a degree in political science.
America's Youngest Head Coach
With his promotion to interim head coach Wes Miller is the youngest Division I head coach in the country:
Coach Birthdate Age
Wes Miller, UNCG Jan. 28, 1983 28
Andy Toole, Robert Morris Sept. 11, 1980 31
Jason Capel, Appalachian State Jan. 15, 1980 32
Brian Wardle, Wisconsin-Green Bay Oct. 9, 1979 32
Archie Miller, Dayton Oct. 30, 1978 33
Derrell Armstrong again but up big numbers, leading the Spartans with 27 points, but David Williams was the hero as his offensive rebound and put-back with 2.8 seconds left lifted UNCG to a 61-60 win ... Williams enjoyed a solid game with 9 points, 7 rebounds and 4 steals ... for the third straight game the Spartans set a season-low in turnovers, committing seven against the Bulldogs, and helping the Spartans to a 27-8 advantage in points-off-turnovers ... UNCG won despite shooting 32.4 percent and being out-rebounded, 43-34 ... after hitting just five 3-pointers in his first 18 games, Armstrong has eight in the last two games.
We're Going Streaking...!!!
Well, the Spartans are at least. In the midst of their longest winning streak in four years, UNCG has won its last four games entering Thursday's affair with Appalachian State. The Spartans have enjoyed dramatic, last-second victories over The Citadel (67-66) and Samford (61-60), as well as relative routs against College of Charleston (73-66) and Chattanooga (81-72). But a closer look at the statistics reveals several anomalies, especially in categories which typically assure victory:
•The Spartans (.412) are being out-shot from the field by their opponents (.429) during the streak
•UNCG has gotten to the free throw line fewer times (72) than its opponents (95); a difference of six attempts per game. UNCG has made 10 fewer free throws (60-50) in the last four games.
•The Spartans are minus-1.5 in rebounding margin
But the Spartans are winning perhaps the most important category: turnovers. UNCG is plus-24 (70-46) in turnover margin over the last four games, leading to a points-off-turnovers average margin of plus-13 per game (91-39).
Armstrong Named SoCon Player of the Week
UNCG guard Derrell Armstrong has been named the Southern Conference Player of the Week for all games played January 17-23 the league office announced Tuesday. The junior averaged 28 points and five rebounds in two games last week as the Spartans ran their win streak to four with victories against Chattanooga (81-72) and Samford (61-60).
Armstrong is UNCG's first player of the week award winner since the 2007-08 season when three different Spartans (Kyle Hines, Kevin Oleksiak, Kendall Toney) combined to win four weekly honors.
The junior guard poured in a season-high 29 points Thursday against Chattanooga, going 10-of-16 from the field, 5-of-8 from three-point range and 4-of-5 at the line. He set season highs in both field goals (10) and three-pointers (5) while adding five rebounds, four assists and two steals.
Armstrong led the Spartans again on Sunday afternoon with 27 points in a last-second, one-point victory against Samford. The Mechanicsville, Md., native connected on 10-of-22 field goal attempts, including three triples. He also added five rebounds, two steals and a pair of assists.
During UNCG's four-game winning streak, Armstrong is averaging a team-best 20.0 points per game, while adding 5.0 rebounds and 2.3 assists.
Simpson Stepping Up
With the loss of leading scorer Brandon Evans to graduation, sophomore swingman Trevis Simpson has assumed the role of top scorer for the Spartans in 2011-12. Currently fifth in the SoCon in scoring at 15.8 points per game, Simpson has scored at least 10 points in 18 of UNCG's 20 games this season. Simpson helped UNCG to the SoCon's biggest upset this season last Thursday, scoring 16 points and grabbing five rebounds in a 73-66 win at College of Charleston. He went one better two nights later at The Citadel, helping UNCG to a road sweep with a game-winning alley-oop dunk in the final second.
Junior guard Derrell Armstrong enjoyed perhaps the best weekend of his basketball life last week, scoring 56 points over two games and helping lead UNCG to a pair of key wins in SoCon play. Prior to Thursday win over Chattanooga, Armstrong's season high was 13 points -- and he had 16 at halftime against the Mocs. Armstrong entered the week just 5-for-32 (.156) from 3-point range but made 8-of-15 from beyond the arc in the two victories.
Armstrong was already UNCG's top offensive threat off the bench, but his recent play has lifted his scoring average into double-figures (10.0), while he is now averaging 13.8 points in SoCon play. During UNCG's four-game winning streak, Armstrong is averaging 20 points and shooting 53 percent from the field.
Simpson Makes ESPN Top Plays
In addition to nearly setting a school record for points in a game, Trevis Simpson also put on a dunking exhibition during UNCG's loss at Miami. One of his dunks, a reverse alley-oop off a pass from Derrell Armstrong, made the No. 6 spot on ESPN's Top Plays the next day.
The dunk also caused about a 10-minute delay as the tech crew at BankUnited Arena had to replace a bolt which was knocked loose by the alley-oop.
Parker Packing a Long-Range Punch
Sophomore guard Drew Parker isn't exactly the first name that comes to mind when pondering UNCG's top three-point shooters. After all, he shot just 30 percent from beyond the arc as a freshman. But as he enters Thursday's game with Appalachian State, Parker finds himself atop the SoCon leader board in three-point percentage at .500 (28-56).
Parker has also settled in to UNCG's starting lineup. Playing as the point guard Parker has started the last 14 games, and recorded a career-high 10 assists in UNCG's loss at Miami.
Henegar Leaves Team
Sophomore forward Cody Henegar has left the team and transferred at the conclusion of the fall semester. The 6-foot-8 Henegar appeared in seven games and averaged 0.7 points and 0.3 rebounds. He informed the coaching staff prior to UNCG's game at Florida State.
Spartans Picked Fourth in SoCon North
UNCG men's basketball team has been picked to finish fourth in the Southern Conference North Division in 2011-12 according to a vote by league head coaches, the conference office announced in October.
Chattanooga and Davidson are the favorites to capture the Southern Conference's divisional men's basketball titles in 2011-12. Appalachian State senior guard Omar Carter was also named the SoCon Preseason Player of the Year as part of the preseason all-conference team. Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own team or student-athletes as part of the balloting.
Dement begins the seventh season of his second tenure at UNCG and his 12th season overall with the Spartans looking to build upon last season's strong finish. After opening the year with a 0-15 mark, a team consisting of 11 first-and-second year players closed by winning seven of their final 16 games. The Spartans also won their opening game at the Southern Conference tournament before falling in the quarterfinals.
Another Tough Schedule
An appearance in the Maui Invitational, home games with East Carolina and 2011 Final Four participant VCU, and road games at Duke, Florida State and Miami (Fla.) highlight UNCG's 2011-12 men's basketball schedule, announced today by head coach Mike Dement.
In all, the Spartans are slated to play 30 regular season contests including 12 home games, all at Greensboro Coliseum. In addition to a full schedule of Southern Conference games, UNCG will square off against cross-town rival North Carolina A&T in late November at the Coliseum.
Spartans on TV
UNCG men's basketball will make seven appearances on national and regional television outlets during the 2011-12 season.
The Spartans will appear four times on Fox Sports South, beginning with the season opener at Tennessee on Nov. 11. Other FSN South appearances include games at Florida State (Dec. 11), at Duke (Dec. 19) and at Miami, Fla. (Jan. 2).
UNCG's game at Georgetown on Nov. 14 will appear on the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network (MASN), which serves seven states from Pennsylvania to North Carolina. MASN is available locally in the Piedmont Triad on DirecTV Ch. 640.
The Spartans' home game with 2011 Final Four participant VCU on Dec. 22 will be shown on ESPN3, while a Feb. 4 contest at Furman is part of the SoCon Sports Network's season-long television package. The SoCon Sports Network consists of CSS, UNC-TV and ESPN3.
More television game may be added during the season. Be sure to check with www.uncgspartans.com throughout the year.
Spartans on the Radio
UNCG men's basketball games will once again be broadcast on the Triad Sports Network for the 2011-12 season. Owned by Curtis Media Group, the Triad Sports Network is a trio of AM stations providing all sports programming with ESPN radio affiliation. UNCG will be utilizing 1320 WCOG-AM as its flagship station for the broadcasts. Additional coverage will be provided on a game-by-game availability through 1200 WSML-AM and 1230 WMFR-AM;
WSML-AM's signal is based out of Graham, N.C., while WMFR-AM is based out of High Point. WZTK-FM, Curtis' FM-talk station, has a 100,000-watt signal that broadcasts nearly statewide and into parts of Virginia and Tennessee.
Scott Pryzwansky will once again handle play-by-play duties.
About the Southern Conference
The Southern Conference, which began its 91st season of intercollegiate competition in 2011, is a national leader in emphasizing the development of the student-athlete and in helping to build lifelong leaders and role models.
The Southern Conference has been on the forefront of innovation and originality in developing creative solutions to address issues facing intercollegiate athletics. From establishing the first conference basketball tournament (1921), tackling the issue of freshmen eligibility (1922), developing women's championships (1984), to becoming the first conference to install the three-point goal in basketball (1980), the Southern Conference has been a pioneer.
The Southern Conference is the nation's fifth-oldest NCAA Division I collegiate athletic association. Only the Big Ten (1896), the Missouri Valley (1907), the Pacific 10 (1915) and the Southwestern Athletic (1920) conferences are older in terms of origination.
The Spartans continue their home stand when they host SoCon foe Western Carolina, 2 p.m., Saturday at Greensboro Coliseum.