ASU Men's Basketball opens regular season tonight

Game 1 - Arkansas State vs. MacMurray College

Setting the scene
Date: Nov. 16, 2009
Location: Jonesboro, Ark.
Tipoff: 7:05 p.m. (CST)
Arena: Convocation Center
Arena Capacity: 10,727

Tipping It Off
Arkansas State opens the 2009-10 season at home playing MacMurray College for only the second time in school history. The Red Wolves and the Highlanders will tipoff at 7:05 p.m. Monday at the Convocation Center.

The ASU men’s basketball team will kick off the 83nd season and second season under head coach John Brady when they open their regular-season schedule against MacMurray College Nov. 16. ASU’s home schedule features 15 games against competition from the SEC, OVC, MVC as well as conference opponents UALR, North Texas, Middle Tenn., ULL, Denver, ULM, WKU, New Orleans and Troy.

MacMurray College is an NCAA Division III opponent located in Jacksonville, Ill. The Highlanders play in the SLIAC. Before traveling to Jonesboro, MacMurray plays Washington University (St. Louis) Sunday at 3 p.m. Todd Creal is in his second season at the helm of the Highlanders program, going 6-19 during his first season. 

ASU has played MacMurray just once in the school’s history with the Red Wolves taking a 92-43 victory at the Convocation Center on Dec. 30, 2007. ASU senior guard Mike Lance, then a sophomore, scored 17 points with eight rebounds during the contest.

Sophomore guard Daniel Bryant led the Red Wolves in their two exhibition contests scoring 19 points in each outing. Bryant shot 55% from the field on 12-22 shooting in the two contests while connecting on 90% from the free-throw line (9-10). Bryant also had five assists and three steals.

ASU  is 21-3 since going Division I in home season openers. ASU’s last home season opener was during the 2008-09 season when they hosted Utah Valley State. UVS took the game 67-63 over ASU.

Over the 22 years that ASU has competed in the ASU Convocation Center, the Red Wolves have compiled a 213-84 record (.720). Arkansas State has gone undefeated twice during a single season at the Convocation Center; they were a perfect 14-0 in 1988-89 and went 13-0 in 1990-91.

ASU’s top returning scorer from last season Donald Boone returns for his senior season with the Red Wolves. Boone averaged 13.6 ppg a year ago while also leading the team with 54 steals. Senior JeJuan Brown returns as the top rebounder coming back from last season. Brown averaged 7.4 ppg while pulling down 4.8 rebounds per game.

Freshman forward Brandon Peterson had a breakout performance in ASU’s first exhibition contest against Henderson State. The Birmingham native had 10 points, eight rebounds and seven blocks playing 25 minutes off the bench for the Red Wolves.

With eight new players on their roster from a year ago, ASU will look quite a bit different in their opening contest against MacMurray Monday. Returning for ASU are seniors - Donald Boone, JeJuan Brown and Mike Lance. Junior - Jeremy Thomas and sophomore - Daniel Bryant. Also back for ASU will be two players that did not play last season freshman Trey Finn and sophomore-transfer Martavius Adams.

Arkansas State senior guard Donald Boone was named to the preseason All-Sun Belt Conference third team. Also released at media day was the preseason coaches’ poll where the Red Wolves were tabbed to finish sixth in the west division.
    The poll and preseason teams were released in conjunction with the start of the Sun Belt Conference men’s basketball media days which kicked off Tuesday with the west division coaches participating in video conferences throughout the day. The east division coaches are slated to participate in media day on Wednesday.
    The preseason team and poll were nominated and voted on by the 13 league coaches. ASU received 36 points in the voting.
    ASU’s top returning scorer from last season, Boone posted 13.6 points per game in 2008-09 and led the team with 54 steals which ranked second in the Sun Belt. Boone appeared in all 30 games a year ago, drawing 24 starts while pacing the squad in minutes played, averaging 30.4 per contest.
    WKU’s AJ Slaughter was tabbed the preseason SBC player of the year and was joined on the first team by Denver’s Nate Rohnert, MTSU’s Desmond Yates, Eric Tramiel from North Texas and Brandon Hazzard of Troy.

McRoy Named Top-25 Mid-Major Assistant
Arkansas State assistant coach Elwyn McRoy garnered the no. 23 spot on the recent listing of the top-25 mid-major assistant coaches in the country.
    McRoy was described by collegeinsider as “arguably the best junior college recruiter in all of college basketball, much less the Mid-Major level, there is no coincidence that on-court success has followed McRoy throughout his entire career. During a span of five seasons in junior college, McRoy coached 28 players who went on to play Division I basketball.”
    This marks the second year in-a-row that one of Arkansas State’s assistant coaches have been recognized as tops in the nation. Associate head coach Chad Dollar was ranked one of the top-10 assistant coaches by Fox Sports in 2008.
    McRoy was the only assistant coach in the Sun Belt Conference named to the list.

Head Coach John Brady
With a Final Four appearance and 281 career victories already to his credit, John Brady was announced as Arkansas State’s 15th head men’s basketball coach by Director of Athletics Dr. Dean Lee at a Wednesday morning press conference held in ASU’s Convocation Center on March 19, 2008.
    During his first season with the Red Wolves, Brady helped lead ASU to one of the best starts in program history and achieved the No. 22 ranking on’s Mid-Major Top 25 poll. As a team ASU improved greatly its defending and rebounding finishing near the top of the conference in several statistical categories.
    Brady spent the last 10-plus seasons serving as LSU’s head coach, leading the Tigers to six postseason berths, two SEC championships and three SEC Western Division titles. Twice named the SEC Coach of the Year,  Brady is a proven winner who brings a well-documented record of success and a long list of accomplishments with him to Arkansas State.
    Chancellor Robert Potts said that he is very pleased with the selection of Coach Brady as Arkansas State’s new head basketball coach.
    Brady’s 16-year tenure as a head coach at both LSU and Samford in Birmingham, Alabama, has been decorated with achievements.  He has coached a combined 25 All-TAAC and SEC selections, 48 academic all-conference choices, posted 11 winning seasons and collected five division championships.  Brady piled up the third most wins in LSU history with 192 and left Samford after the 1996-97 season as the Bulldog’s all-time leader in coaching victories (89) as well.
    He quickly turned around an LSU’s men’s basketball program that had suffered four consecutive losing seasons prior to his arrival, leading the Tigers to a 28-6 record, an SEC championship and an NCAA Sweet 16 appearance in just his third season (1999-00) at the helm.  Under Brady’s direction, the Tigers recorded six consecutive winning seasons from 2001-02 to 2006-07 while making three trips to the NCAA Tournament and two more to the NIT. The 2005-06 campaign saw LSU post a 27-9 record and advance to the Final Four for the first time in 20 years.
    Not only did Brady coach the Tigers to 23 wins versus ranked opponents, he also led them to victories over two teams ranked No. 1 in the Associated Press Poll (Arizona in 2002-03 and Duke in 2005-06).  Additionally, he orchestrated a 19-game home winning streak over SEC opponents, the third longest stretch in LSU history.
    While at LSU, Brady coached two NBA Lottery picks and six current NBA players.  The Tigers signed nine Parade All-Americans and four McDonald All-Americans under Brady, who also coached three SEC Players of the Year, four players named SEC Freshman of the Year, one SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year and 17 All-SEC selections.
    Prior to taking over the reigns at LSU, Brady served as Samford’s head coach from 1991-92 through 1996-97.  It didn’t take long for him to turn around a Samford program coming off six straight losing seasons, either, guiding the Bulldogs to a 17-10 record in his second season.  He led Samford to three straight winning seasons (1995-97) for the first time since 1982-84, all leading up to a 19-9 record and division title in 1997.  Samford won the TAAC West Division each of Brady’s final two seasons at the school for the first time in school history.
    His four winning campaigns at Samford were the first for any coach at the school, and he led the Bulldogs to an 89-77 record after they went 27-83 the four seasons prior to his initial year.  He coached eight All-TAAC and 14 Academic All-TAAC players over six seasons.
    The McComb, Miss., native earned his bachelor’s degree in 1976 from Belhaven College, where he was three-year starter and scored over 1,000 points during his college playing career.  Brady was a two-time All-Southern States Conference selection and was later inducted into his alma mater’s Hall of Fame.
    He got his coaching start as a graduate assistant with the Mississippi State men’s basketball program while earning his master’s degree from 1976-77.  Brady took his first head coaching position in Louisiana at Crowley High School in 1977 and led the basketball squad to a 129-49 (.725) record in five seasons.  He was named the 1981 Louisiana Sports Writers Association Class 3-A Coach of the Year.
    Brady returned to the college coaching ranks in 1982 as an assistant coach at Mississippi State.  He spent the next eight years with the Bulldogs, the first four seasons under coach Bob Hoyt and the next four as a chief recruiter for coach Richard Williams.  Following his tenure in Starkville, Brady returned to Louisiana for the second time, this time to serve as an assistant coach at the University of New Orleans.  Brady helped lead UNO to the NCAA Tournament during his only season with the Privateers.
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