Complete Game Notes
The Spartans open their 14th season of Southern Conference play when they visit Appalachian State on Thursday ... UNCG is 6-7 all-time in SoCon openers ... the Spartans have won two of their last three games in Boone, including a 75-74 victory last season ... the teams split the season series last year, with Appalachian State winning, 80-78, in an overtime battle in Greensboro ... the Mountaineers lead the all-time series, 19-16 .
UNCG Head Coach Mike Dement
Mike Dement is in the seventh season of his second tenure as head coach at UNCG. Dement returned to UNCG on April 9, 2005 for his second stint as men's basketball coach. He previously served as the Spartans' head man from 1991-95. Dement, 57, is the ninth head coach in school history – and the first to serve two different tenures as head coach of the program. His 124 wins at UNCG are the most in school history for men's basketball. Dement has also served head coaching stints at Cornell (1987-91) and SMU (1996-04). Overall, Dement is 329-364 in his 25th season as a head coach.
North Carolina A&T Leftovers
Junior guard Kyle Randall became the 13th player in school history to reach 200 career assists when he recorded five against the Aggies ... Randall has 11 assists and just one turnover in his last two games ... sophomore guard Drew Parker scored a career-high 12 points, making all four of his three-point attempts ... sophomore forward Taylor Hoffer grabbed a career-best five rebounds ... UNCG enjoyed its second-best team free throw effort of the season when the Spartans made 16-of-20 (.800) from the line ... the Spartans were out-rebounded (40-32) for just the second time this season.
Nick's Big Night
Freshman Nicholas Paulos not only enjoyed the top scoring performance this season by a Spartan when he scored 25 points against Towson on Nov. 20, but he almost single-handedly led UNCG to victory. Paulos scored 21 points in the second half, including 15 straight during a key second half stretch. He finished the game 9-of-15 from the field, including 6-of-11 from three-point range.
Junior guard Derrell Armstrong joined the Spartans this season with a reputation for being a strong offensive player, and he hasn't disappointed. But he's also proving to be a strong all-round player. UNCG's top offensive threat off the bench, Armstrong enters Thursday's game at Appalachian State averaging 6.7 points, 4.2 rebounds and 2.0 steals per game, all in just under 19 minutes per game.
Juniors Korey Van Dussen and Derrell Armstrong are currently tied for third in the SoCon with 2.0 steals per game (12 each). As a teams the Spartans are second among conference teams with 8.8 steals per game.
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.
"The last two years we've played one of the top non-conference schedules in the country, which has helped to enhance our program's profile. This year is no different," said Dement. "We have games against teams from the ACC, Big East, SEC, a 2011 Final Four squad and challenging contests against in-state foes like UNC Pembroke, East Carolina and A&T. We intend for these games to ultimately help prepare us for success in Southern Conference play."
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 for the Spartans.
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 SoCon play on Saturday when they visit Western Carolina. Game time is set for 4:30 p.m.