Game Notes: @AStateMB vs ULM
6-8 (0-1 SBC)
|JAN 2 | 7:00 PM (CT)
10-4 (1-0 SBC)
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Coming off a 74-71 victory in the Sun Belt Conference opener, A-State returns to action against ULM Monday at 7:00 p.m. The game will stream live on the Red Wolves Digital Network (paid) and Matt Stolz brings the action on the EAB Red Wolves Sports Network flagship 107.9 KFIN.
The 2016-17 campaign marks the program's 89th season with the Red Wolves amassing a 1,173-1,119 all-time record (.512) dating back to the inaugural 1926-27 season.
Head Coach Grant McCasland, who is in his first season at Arkansas State, is off to a 10-4 start this season, the best start by an A-State head coach. McCasland has a record of 209-47 (.816) in stops at Midland College (2004-09) and Midwestern State (2009-11). His NCAA record is 66-16 (.805) with his 56-12 mark at Midwestern State and 10-4 ledger at A-State.
Rashad Lindsey scored 27 points in the conference opener against Louisiana, the most by any A-State player in his Sun Belt Conference debut.
As of NCAA Stat rankings on Jan. 1, the Red Wolves rank 18th nationally in 3-point field goal percentage defense (.290). Additionally, the Red Wolves are 34th in field goal percentage (.483) and 45th in 3-point field goal percentage (.392).
Donte Thomas dished out a career high 13 assists at Central Arkansas (Dec. 16), the third-most in a NCAA Division I game this season. He is one of nine active NCAA DI players with 200-plus assists (234) and 200-plus rebounds (215) since start of 2015-16 season.
Guards are responsible for 285 of the 495 team rebounds (57.6 percent) thus far.
The Red Wolves won nine non-conference games for the first time since the 2003-04 season (9) and had eight non-conference wins against Division I opponents for the first time since 1990-91 (11).
The win at Central Arkansas (Dec. 16) gave A-State four non-conference road wins, most by an A-State teams since the 1986-87 season (4). The most in any season came in 1973-74 (5).
A-State is ranked No. 120 in the KenPom rankings as of Jan. 1. A-State opened the season at No. 281 in these rankings and has made the biggest improvement (+161) of any program this season.
The Red Wolves have an 11-0 record against ULM in the Convocation Center and are 26-5 all-time against ULM on the home floor.
► TRENDING UP
A-State is shooting 48.3 percent (380-787) from the field, up from 43.7 percent (380-870) at this point last season. From 3-point range, A-State is up from 32.0 percent (77-241) to 39.2 percent (102-260) this year.
With 102 3-point baskets so far this year, A-State is on pace for 226 this season, which would be the fourth-most in school history and most since the 2013-14 team had 282.
The Red Wolves have shot 50 percent or better in eight of 14 games (Central Baptist, Georgetown, Chattanooga, SIUE, Lehigh, Cleveland State, Minnesota, Louisiana) this year. Last season, A-State reached 50 percent or better in a total of six games. From 3-point range, A-State has hit 43 percent or better in six games (Central Baptist, Georgetown, Chattanooga, Lehigh, UT Martin, Louisiana) already, a total reached just five times last season.
More information on these numbers can be found on page four in the notes linked above.
► ALWAYS RISING
A-State earned a 78-72 win at Georgetown on Nov. 17, a statement win for the program in just the third game under head coach Grant McCasland. The Red Wolves have since added seven more victories, including wins over SoCon preseason favorite Chattanooga (73-67) and Patriot League preseason favorite Lehigh (97-89).
The non-conference road win at Georgetown was the sixth in program history against a team from the higher resource conferences (ACC, Big East, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12 and SEC). A-State last picked up a non-conference road win against a higher resource team on Dec. 17, 2014 at Mississippi State (69-55).
With the win at Central Arkansas (Dec. 16), A-State earned its fourth non-conference road win of the season, most since the 1986-87 season. The Red Wolves have a chance at a fifth on Friday in Minnesota which would tie the 1973-74 squad with the most in program history.
A-State has five wins this year away from home in non-conference play, most since the 1988-89 team had three road wins and a pair of neutral site victories in the preseason.
Devin Carter drained 10 3-pointers Wedneday at UT Martin to set a single-game school record. He becomes the fourth player in NCAA Division I action to hit 10 3-pointers, the most this season.
Carter bests the previous school record of nine 3-pointers held by Adrian Banks (vs Troy |Jan. 13, 2007), Dewarick Spencer (vs UAPB | Dec. 17, 2003) and Tevoris Thompson (vs Lyon | Dec. 7, 2002).
A-State hit 14-of-32 (43.8 percent) from 3-point range at UT Martin the most 3-pointers in a game since Feb. 20, 2014 against UT Arlington when the Red Wolves were 16-of-30 (53.3 percent) against UT Arlington.
► SCOUTING REPORT: ULM
ULM visits the Convocation Center after a 79-75 overtime setback at Little Rock Saturday. The Warhawks are 6-8 on the season, 3-3 in their last six outings.
Sam McDaniel leads the team scoring 13.1 points per game and Travis Munnings is second averaging 12.9. Munnings leads the team on the glass at 8.9 rebounds per game with McDaniel second at 7.2 boards.
► SERIES HISTORY
Arkansas State and ULM meet for the 60th time on Monday. The Red Wolves have won 10 of the last 13 meetings, including 14-straight on the home floor.
Donte Thomas led A-State with 12 points, nine rebounds and seven assists against ULM last season at the Convocation Center, a 68-65 overtime victory for the Red Wolves. Thomas missed the game at ULM last season, a 78-73 overtime win for the Warhawks.
The Red Wolves are in their 26th season of play in the Sun Belt Conference with a record of 207-216. A-State is 138-74 (.651) at home and 69-142 (.327) on the road in Sun Belt Conference action.
► GUARDS CRASHING THE BOARDS
Guards are responsible for 285 of the 495 team rebounds (57.6 percent) thus far.
Donte Thomas leads the team with 4.6 rebounds per game and Deven Simms is second at 4.5 rebounds per game. Overall, five of the top six rebounders this season are guards for A-State.
► THAT'S A START
A-State opened its 26th season of play in the Sun Belt Conference with a 74-71 victory over Louisiana.
The Red Wolves improved to 17-9 in Sun Belt Conference openers and 33-21 in league openers dating back to the 1963 season when A-State debuted in the Southland Conference.
A-State is now 12-3 at home in Sun Belt Conference openers.
The Red Wolves look to start 2-0 in Sun Belt Conference play for the ninth time in 26 seasons. Last year, A-State started 4-0 in league play.
► BEYOND THE BOX SCORE
C.J. Foster redshirted last season and has returned this year as a starter in each game and key contributor.
Foster has established a career high in points over the last two games - 13 at TCU (Dec. 3) and 14 at UT Martin (Dec. 14). Not only did he set a career high in points, but Foster dished out a career best five assists at UT Martin. His career best in rebounding came in the big non-conference road win at Georgetown (Nov. 17) when he pulled down six rebounds.
His biggest impact does not always appear on the box score, but Foster has been large on the defensive end. The win against Cleveland State stands out the most as Foster was guarding the Vikings leading scorer Rob Edwards and held him scoreless. Edwards came in averaging 18.8 points.
More on C.J. Foster can be found on page five of the notes linked above.
► RISING TO THE OCCASION
The non-conference finale at Minnesota (Dec. 23) marked the seventh game over the last two years against a higher resources conference foe on the road.
In the seven games (at Oregon, at Baylor, at Missouri, at Georgetown, at TCU, vs Alabama and at Minnesota), Devin Carter hit 53-of-114 (46.5 percent) of his field goal attempts while going 21-for-57 (36.8 percent) from 3-point range.
For the seven games, he averaged 21.4 points (150 pts) and 4.1 rebounds (29 rebs). His 25 points at Georgetown are the most among the five outings while 14 versus Alabama are the fewest. The 14 points at Alabama marked the only time in the seven games he didn't reach 20 or more points.
► ALL HANDS ON DECK
The Red Wolves bench production has been a key this year as A-State has more bench points in 12 of the 14 games.
On the season, A-State has outscored opponents benches 411-265, a difference of 10.4 points per game.
Deven Simms is the Red Wolves second-leading scorer with 12.7 points per game and has come off the bench in each game.
► DEFENDING THE TREY
Eight of the 14 opponents thus far have shot 28 percent or less from 3-point range against the Red Wolves.
A-State held UT Martin (Dec. 14) to 20 percent (1-for-5) from 3-point range in the first half marking the seventh time in the first 10 games an opponent had shot 20 percent or less.
After 14 games, opponents are shooting 29.0 percent (74-255) from long range, ranking A-State 18th nationally in 3-point field goal percentage defense.
A-State's 2009-10 team held opponents to 29.3 percent (161-550) beyond the arc, the lowest percentage a Red Wolves team was responsible for a full season.
► PROVEN WINNERS
Head Coach Grant McCasland embarks on his first season as head coach of the Red Wolves with a proven coaching staff full of winners.
McCasland compiled a record of 199-45 (.816) in stops at Midland College (NJCAA) and Midwestern State (NCAA D2) and is joined by associate head coach Ross Hodge who posted a 146-24 (.859)record at Pairs JC (NJCAA) and Midwestern State (NCAA D2). Assistant Coach James Miller produced a 77-23 (.770) record at New Mexico JC (NJCAA) and assistant Jareem Dowling was 19-11 (.633) at Scotland Performance Institute (Prep).
The staff has produced a record of 451-106 (.811) with 17 seasons of head coaching positions at various levels.
► A-STATE'S 15TH HEAD COACH
Head Coach Grant McCasland was named the 15th head coach in program history back in March.
Off to a 9-4 start, McCasland has the best start of any A-State head coach in program history.
First year head coaches at A-State have averaged a record of 11-11. Marvin Speight (16-9), John Rauth (16-8) and Jack Dale (16-9) have the most wins among A-State first year head coaches.
The Red Wolves face four opponents this year that feature new head coaches: Army, Little Rock, TCU and UT Martin.
McCasland is one of 50 new NCAA Division 1 coaches at their respective school this season and one of 29 in their first Division I head coaching role. Two of the 29 new head coaches in their first Division I experience have NBA head coaching experience: Terry Porter (Portland) and Mike Dunleavy Sr. (Tulane).
McCasland has a tie to one of the 29 new Division I head coaches as Northern Colorado head coach Jeff Linder was an assistant coach on McCasland's staff at Midland College for two seasons.
Among those 29 coaches, A-State ranks fourth at 10-4 overall. Of the 50 coaches in their first season at respective school, 16 have 10 or more wins thus far.
► RACKING UP THE MILES
A-State has traveled over 6,200 miles already this season with road games at North Dakota State (2,958 miles), Georgetown and the pair of games at Army (2,554) in addition to road games at TCU (970), UT Martin (280) and Central Arkansas (264). The trip to Huntsville for the game against Alabama added 280 miles to the odometer.
Although the North Dakota State game was not part of the Maui Mainland Tournament, A-State traveled more this year than a one way ticket to Lahaina, Hawaii for the Maui Invitational (4,102) prior to Thanksgiving.
After the pair of home games to open league play, A-State hits the road again for games at Coastal Carolina and Appalachian State. That trip will cover 1,700 miles.
► WELCOME TO THE #FUNBELT
Junior guard Rashad Lindsey had quite the Sun Belt Conference debut, pouring in 27 points as A-State opened league play with a 74-71 victory over Louisiana (Dec. 31).
The 27 points are the most scored by an A-State player in a conference opener since Ryan Wedel had 30 points at FAU on Dec. 20, 2007. As a junior college transfer, Lindsey now holds an A-State record for the most points scored in a Sun Belt Conference debut. Overall, his 27 points rank as the fourth-most by any A-State player in a Sun Belt Conference opener.
► RECORD WATCH
With four assists against Cleveland State (Nov. 30), Donte Thomas passed 200 career assists in just 34 games played becoming the 13th player in program history with 200 or more assists. He has 88 assists in 14 games this year, an average of 6.3 per game. He needs 42 more assists to break into the top-10 among career leaders at A-State. Thomas ranks 10th among all Division I players in total assists (88) and 14th with 6.3 assists per game.
Devin Carter has converted 47 treys this season and has made 135 3-pointers in his 45 games with A-State. With four more 3-pointers, Carter would rank eighth in program history for made 3-pointers. He currently ranks ninth shooting 40.8 percent (135-331) from 3-point range. Carter posted his 21st career game with 20 or more points at Minnesota (Dec. 23) and averages 17.3 points for his career, eighth most in program history.
More on these records and the rankings in the last two years is available on page seven of the game notes linked above.