COURTESY: Arkansas State
• The Arkansas State University men’s basketball team will tipoff its 2014-15 season this Wednesday (Nov. 5) as the Red Wolves entertain in-state foe Henderson State Reddies in an exhibition contest at the Convocation Center in Jonesboro, Ark.
A-State returns three letterwinners from last season’s 19-13 team in juniors Kelvin Downs, Cameron Golden, and Josh Pierre. Redshirts PJ Hardwick and Sean Gardner join the Red Wolves this campaign along with eight newcomers.
A-STATE/HENDERSON STATE HISTORY
• A-State leads 13-7 in the all-time series which started in the 1930-31 season.
• The Red Wolves posted an 83-72 home win in their 2013-14 exhibition opener and claimed a 95-65 exhibition victory in the 2012-13 campaign.
• The last regular-season meeting between the two teams occurred in the 1951-52 season with A-State winning a pair of games – 69-64 and 69-34.
SCOUTING HENDERSON STATE
• The Reddies were 14-17 overall for the 2013-14 season, which included an eighth-place 8-12 mark in the NCAA Division II Great American Conference. HSU was 4-9 on the road, 5-7 at home, and 5-1 at neutral sites a season ago.
• HSU returns two starters from a season ago in senior center Reggie Murphy (10.5 ppg. and 5.8 rpg.) and sophomore guard Kevin Kozan (9.1 ppg. and 2.8 rpg.). The Reddies, who were picked fifth in the 2014-15 GAC Coaches Preseason Poll, return nine letterwinners to go with 14 newcomers for the 2014-15 campaign.
• Fourth-year head coach Doug Nichols is the 28th coach in HSU history and served as the top assistant at Arkansas Tech for the 2010-11 season.
• A-State is currently 19-1 in exhibition contests dating back to the 2004-05 season after posting an 83-72 home win against Henderson State (11/2) and a 95-64 home triumph over Arkansas-Monticello (11/5) last season.
• The Red Wolves have registered double-digit victories in 17 of their last 18 exhibition tilts to date, including the last nine.
• A-State is averaging 86.8 points per game (1,736 pts.) to the opposition’s 62.4 points a contest (1,248 pts.) for a +24.4 points an outing differential.
• Carlos Wilson and Mike Scutero will begin their first season at A-State in 2014-15 as assistants on head coach John Brady’s staff. Wilson previously was an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Odessa (Texas) College while Scutero spent the 2013-14 season as an assistant at Kennesaw (Ga.) State. Prior to KSU, Scutero was an assistant to the head coach (Kermit Davis) and director of basketball operations at Middle Tennessee State from 2010-13.
READY FOR ACTION
• Guards PJ Hardwick and Sean Gardner are both eligible for competition this 2014-15 season after not playing in the 2013-14 campaign. Hardwick, a transfer from North Texas, sat out due to the NCAA Division I Transfer Rule while Gardner was redshirted after signing with the Red Wolves prior to the 2013-14 season. Hardwick, who started in 17 of UNT’s 32 games for the 2012-13 season, scored a team seventh-best 3.7 points (118 pts.) and 2.9 rebounds (92 rebs.) while averaging 23.7 minutes per contest (758 total). Gardner compiled per game averages of 10.7 points (320 pts.), 3.6 rebounds (108 rebs.), and 3.0 assists (89 ast.) in 30 2012-13 outings at Motlow Community College, coached by former A-State men’s basketball player Jerry Nichols (2005-06).
• Cameron Golden’s team-leading 81 assists in 32 appearances last season represented a personal single-season best, bettering his 65 assists in 31 games for the 2012-13 campaign. Golden set personal season highs in points (244), steals (36), field goals made (81), free throws made (39), minutes played (768), and games played (32) this past 2013-14 season.
• Kelvin Downs’ 19 blocked shots in 32 games for the 2013-14 season not only was a personal single-season high, but ranked second among A-State’s team leaders. He compiled 10 blocks in 29 2012-13 season outings.
• A-State concludes exhibition play Wednesday, Nov. 12, hosting the Southern Arkansas Muleriders in Jonesboro. A 7:05 p.m. (CT) start is scheduled for the contest at the Convocation Center. Season tickets for all 2014-15 A-State home games are presently on sale and can be purchased by calling 1-888-ASU Fans or 870-972-2781. Fans may also purchase tickets online at tickets.astate.edu.
A-STATE MBB SOCIAL MEDIA