|Men's Basketball Game Notes - at North Texas|
Tip-Off: The Arkansas State University men's basketball team, the 2012-13 Sun Belt Conference (SBC) West Division Champions, will put its current four-game winning streak on the line this Thursday (Feb. 28) night as the Red Wolves square off against the North Texas Mean Green in conference divisional play at Denton, Texas. A 7 p.m. (CT) start time is scheduled for the matchup at UNT's The Super Pit. The contest marks the second and final 2012-13 regular-season meeting between the two schools.
The Records: Arkansas State (18-9, 12-6 Sun Belt West Division). The Red Wolves won their fourth game in a row with a 58-50 regular-season home finale conference win over Troy last Saturday (2/23) at the ASU Convocation Center in Jonesboro, Ark. The Red Wolves, who have won seven of their last eight contests, are 5-7 on the road, 13-2 at home, and 0-0 at neutral sites. ASU captured its second Sun Belt Conference West Division Championship title in the last three seasons this 2012-13 campaign.
North Texas (11-19, 6-13 Sun Belt West Division). The Mean Green had their two-game winning string snapped with a 69-57 conference road loss to South Alabama last Saturday (2/23) at USA's Mitchell Center in Mobile, Ala. UNT, which has posted a 3-7 record in its last 10 contests to date, is 7-7 at home, 2-11 on the road, and 2-1 at neutral sites this season.
The Coaches: Arkansas State – John Brady (Bellhaven, 1976), 5th season, 79-75 (.513); Career - 360-291 (.553) – (5-5 vs. North Texas). Brady was named the 2009-10 SBC Coach of the Year and the District VII Coach of the Year by the United States Basketball Writers Association (USBWA). He served six seasons (1991-97) as head coach at Samford and then spent 10-plus seasons (1997-08) in a head coaching capacity at LSU. Brady guided LSU to two SEC Championship titles along with four NCAA Tournament appearances, which included a Final Four appearance in the 2005-06 season.
North Texas – Tony Benford (Texas Tech, 1992), 1st season, 11-19 (.367) – (0-1 vs. ASU). Benford, a veteran of 20 years in Division I basketball, is the 17th head coach in North Texas’ history. Prior to UNT, Benford served as an associate head coach at Marquette the last four seasons (2008-12). While at Marquette, Benford was recognized as one of the nation’s top assistant coaches by Basketball Times, Fox Sports, and Hoop Scoop. He also had assistant coaching stints at New Mexico (1992-98), Arizona State (1998-06), and Nebraska (2006-08). Benford, who was an associate head coach at Arizona State (2004-06), played collegiately at Texas Tech (1982-86) and was selected in the fourth round (93rd pick overall) of the 1986 NBA Draft by the Boston Celtics.
About North Texas: The Mean Green had their two-game winning string snapped with a 69-57 conference setback to South Alabama last Saturday (2/26) and are 3-7 in their last 10 outings. Junior guard Alzee Williams (15 pts.) and sophomore forward Tony Mitchell (11 pts. & 11 rebs.) led the way for North Texas in the contest.
• Sophomore guard Jordan Williams (13.9 ppg.) is tops among four players averaging double-figure points while sophomore forward Tony Mitchell, the 2012-13 SBC Preseason Player of the Year, is second in scoring (13.2 ppg.). Mitchell is UNT’s leading rebounder (8.3 rpg.) and shot blocker (2.7 bpg.).
• UNT ranks 44th among the nation’s NCAA-I leaders in blocked shots (4.8 bpg.) thru games of Feb. 24. The Mean Green is 93rd in free-throw pct. (71.4%), 205th in scoring offense (66.3 ppg.), and 243rd in scoring defense (69.2 ppg). Tony Mitchell ranks 18th in blocked shots (2.67 bpg.), 68th in double-doubles (eight), and 87th in rebounds (8.3 rpg.). Senior guard Roger Franklin ranks 241st in double-doubles (three).
All-Time Series: Arkansas State has a 21-18 lead over UNT in the all-time series dating back to 1963-64 as the Red Wolves pulled out a 64-63 victory. ASU is 9-9 on the road, 10-7 at home, and 2-2 at neutral sites.
• ASU posted a 75-66 overtime home triumph over North Texas earlier this season (2/2) in Jonesboro, Ark., as Cameron Golden (18 pts.) and Ed Townsel (15 pts.) lead four Red Wolves in double-figure scoring. Brandon Peterson registered a game-high 14 rebounds and Trey Finn added six boards.
• A-State went 1-2 against UNT a season ago, winning 75-72 at home (1/7) before falling 76-64 on the road (1/28) in regular-season action. North Texas would post a 76-72 victory in the semifinal round of the 2012 Sun Belt Conference Tournament (3/5). Trey Finn (17.5 ppg.) and Marcus Hooten (16.3 ppg.) were ASU’s top points leaders in last season’s series while Brandon Peterson (7.3 rpg.) and Finn (6.0 rpg.) paced the Red Wolves in rebounding.
• The Red Wolves are 5-6 in the last 11 meetings, which includes a 3-3 ledger in the past six matchups.
• ASU is averaging 68.8 points a contest (413 pts.) in the last six outings while North Texas is scoring at 70.0 points per game clip (420 pts.).
• Six of the last 11 games have been decided by 10 points or more, including three of the last six.
• The Red Wolves are 8-7 in games decided by double digits and 13-11 in single-point margins.
• ASU is 1-4 versus North Texas in the Red Wolves’ last nine road appearances with the last three outings being decided by double digits. ASU is averaging 74.2 ppg. (371 pts.) and while allowing 79.4 ppg. (397 pts.) in its last five encounters against the Mean Green.
• Cameron Golden (18.0 ppg.), Marcus Hooten (12.8 ppg.), and Trey Finn (10.4 ppg.) are ASU’s top active career scorers vs. UNT while Peterson (6.4 rpg.) and Finn (4.6 rpg.) lead the Red Wolves in rebounding.
Sun Belt Conference Games: The Red Wolves are 183-179 (.506) since joining the Sun Belt Conference (SBC) in the 1991-92 season, which includes a season-best 14-4 (.778) mark in the 1997-98 campaign.
• A-State sports a 44-18 (.709) record at home and is 17-18 (.486) on the road since the 2006-07 season.
• ASU head coach John Brady has registered a 45-41 record (.523) in Sun Belt Conference contests since his arrival in the 2008-09 season, which consists of a 33-10 home ledger and a 13-29 away mark.
• The Red Wolves are 21-30 (.412) in February conference games dating back to 2006-07 – 14-10 at home and 7-20 on the road. ASU’s best mark was 5-1 in the 2010-11 season as the Red Wolves went 3-0 at home and 2-1 on the road en route to a 5-2 overall record.
• A-State posted a fifth-place 6-10 league mark in the 2011-12 season – 5-3 at home and 1-7 on the road.
• Ed Townsel (11.7 ppg.), Trey Finn (11.7 ppg.), and Brandon Peterson (10.3 ppg.) lead A-State in conference scoring as the trio have combined to register 49.1% (607-1,237) of the team’s points output. Peterson leads the Red Wolves in rebounding (9.3 rpg.) while sophomore guard Rakeem Dickerson is tops in assists (2.3 apg.). Finn leads A-State in steals (1.6 spg.) and Peterson is first in blocked shots (1.1 bpg.).
SBC West Division Champs: Arkansas State claimed its second Sun Belt Conference (SBC) West Division title in the last three seasons with a 58-50 regular-season home finale conference win over Troy last Saturday (2/23) and a UALR 73-59 loss at Florida Atlantic. The 2010-11 Red Wolves won the West Division in ASU head coach John Brady’s third season with an 11-5 league ledger (.643 win pct.). A-State has secured the second seed and thus a first-round bye for the upcoming 2013 SBC Championship Tournament (3/8-11) in Hot Springs, Ark.
What A Season: The Red Wolves’ 18 victories this season to date (18-9 record) represents the program’s most since 1998-99 when ASU compiled an 18-12 overall mark. The 18 wins are also the most during head coach John Brady’s tenure at A-State, surpassing the 17 victories set twice – 17-14 in 2009-10 and 17-15 in 2010-11. The Red Wolves have compiled double-digit victories in each of their last five seasons to date and 15 times since the 1987-88 season.
Hot Streak: ASU has won seven of its last eight contests and is riding a current four-game winning streak (2/9-23). In their last eight appearances (5-0 at home), the Red Wolves have outscored the opposition by a +14.5 points per game margin (71.2 ppg. to 56.8 ppg.) while forcing their opponent into averaging 14.4 turnovers per outing.
Finn Earns Weekly Kudos: Senior guard Trey Finn was selected as this week’s College Sports Madness SBC Player of the Week (2/25). Finn, who also received the honor earlier this month (2/4), tallied 13 points and five rebounds in the Red Wolves’ division-clinching 58-50 home conference decision over Troy last Saturday (2/23).
Leaders of the Pack: ASU presently has three players with double-figure scoring averages – junior guard Ed Townsel (13.4 ppg.), Brandon Peterson (10.9 ppg.), and Trey Finn (10.4 ppg.). The three have combined to generate 49.3% (927-1,882) of ASU’s scoring production this season to date. Ed Townsel (363 pts.) alone has currently accounted for 19.3% of Arkansas State’s points output.
For Pete’s Sake: Brandon Peterson presently ranks 12th among the Sun Belt Conference’s all-time leaders with 847 career boards and is 12 caroms away from moving into an 11th-place tie with Old Dominion’s Chris Gatling (1988-91; 859 career rebs.). Peterson is tied for 19th in blocked shots with a 158 total and is three shy of tying Western Kentucky’s Elgrace Wilborn (2002-05; 161 career blks.) for 18th-place honors.
Four More: Trey Finn is four rebounds shy of moving into an 11th-place tie with Jim Ward (1953-55; 650 career rebs.) on ASU’s career boards leaders list. Finn has hauled down 646 career boards in 117 games, which includes 124 rebounds in 26 outings this season. Finn has accumulated at least 100 rebounds in each of his four A-State seasons (2009-13), highlighted by a career season-high 195 in the 2009-10 campaign.
On The Road: ASU is 5-7 in away outings this season as the Red Wolves are averaging 67.2 ppg. (806 pts.) while their opponent is scoring at a 67.4 ppg. (809 pts.) clip. Ed Townsel (11.3 ppg.), freshman guard Cameron Golden (10.1 ppg.), and Brandon Peterson (10.0 ppg.) lead A-State in scoring as the three have combined to produce 46.7% (376-806) of the Red Wolves’ points. Peterson (9.2 rpg.), junior forward Kendrick Washington (5.3 rpg.), and Trey Finn (4.5 rpg.) lead ASU in rebounding and have recorded 56.9% (222-390) of the squad’s output on the glass.
Red Wolf Howlings: Trey Finn is 12 assists shy from matching his career season-high 58 helpers set as a freshman in the 2009-10 season. He also needs four more assists to reach the 50 single-season mark for the third time in his career ... Brandon Peterson is five rebounds shy of equalling his career single-season most 267 boards set last season in 34 games ... Cameron Golden’s 210 points is tops among ASU’s true freshmen class and represents 44.7% of the four-member group’s scoring ... Ed Townsel is currently tied for 10th place with Vernall Cole (1991-95) on ASU’s all-time three-point field goal leaders with 126 treys and is two shy of moving into an eighth-place tie with Chico Fletcher (1996-00) and Adrian Banks (2006-08) ... Brandon Peterson is seven points shy of tallying his 300th point this season and is 21 away from equalling his career season-most 314 points set in 34 2011-12 contests ... Ed Townsel, who has 131 career steals, needs two more to equal Jay Hansen’s (1980-84) 133 career thefts for sixth place on the Red Wolves’ charts ... A-State’s top three leaders in steals this campaign – Ed Townsel (46), sophomore guard Rakeem Dickerson (39), and Trey Finn (37) have combined for 50.6% (122-241) ... Brandon Peterson is seven points shy of tying Dewarick Spencer (2003-05; 1,073 career pts.) for 21st place among the Red Wolves’ career points leaders.
Getting Defensive: ASU has held its opponent to 53.8 points per game (215 pts.) in the last four contests. The Red Wolves have limited the opposition to 35.2% (74-210) shooting from the floor, including 28.2% (20-71) from three-point territory. The Red Wolves have held their opponent to 60 or less points on 10 occasions this season and boast a 10-0 record in those encounters.
Hot Hand: Trey Finn has reached double-figure scoring in six of his last eight games, which includes the last two – 19 points at ULM (2/16) and 13 against Troy (2/23). Finn is averaging 13.9 points a contest (111 pts.) in the eight-game period (1/26-2/23). The Sun Belt Conference Player of the Week (2/4) performer averaged 10.1 points per game (81 pts.) in his eight prior contests (12/27-1/24).
2012-13 Reference Guide Now Online: The 2012-13 A-State men's basketball reference guide is now available to view online in a PDF format and contains information for all devoted Red Wolves fans. The 110-page publication features such information as 2012-13 student-athlete rosters, season preview, student-athlete biographies, coaching staff bios, 2011-12 season statistics, and all-time series records along with career, season, and game statistical records. The annual publication is a production of the ASU Sports Information Office under the direction of director Jerry Scott along with assistant directors Chris Graddy and Joe Gorby. To view the 2012-13 ASU men's basketball publication online, please visit the respective link - 2012-13 Arkansas State Men's Basketball Reference Guide.
A Season Ago: A-State concluded the 2011-12 campaign at 14-20 overall and posted a fifth-place 6-10 mark in the Sun Belt Conference’s (SBC) West Division. The Red Wolves were 10-5 at home, 2-14 on the road, and 2-1 at neutral sites a season ago.
2013 SBC Basketball Tourney Tickets On Sale: Tickets for the 2013 Sun BeltConference Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournament to be held March 8-11 at the Summit Arena in Hot Springs, Ark., are now on sale. Tickets are on sale for $93 per booklet. Each booklet includes a ticket to each session for both the men’s and women’s games covering all four days. If you are interested in reserving your seats to the 2013 Sun Belt Conference Tournament, please call the ASU Box Office at (870) 972-2781, or you may order your tickets online at www.tickets.astate.edu. Hotel packages can be reserved by calling (501) 624-5521.
2013 SBC Championship Tournament: Information regarding the 2013 Sun Belt Conference Men's Basketball Championship Tournament, which will be held March 8-11 at the Summit Arena in Hot Springs, Ark. is available by clicking on this link.
Tie-Breaking Procedures - (PDF)Up Next: Arkansas State takes on instate rival UALR Trojans this Saturday (March 2) evening in the 2012-13 regular-season finale for both teams. Opening tip-off for the Sun Belt Conference West Division showdown is slated for 7 p.m. (CT) at UALR's Jack Stephens Center in Little Rock, Ark.