Tip Off: The 2012-13 Arkansas State University men's basketball team closes out its exhibition play this Tuesday (Nov. 6) evening versus Henderson State at the ASU Convocation Center. This season's final tune-up contest is scheduled to get underway at 7:05 p.m. (CT).
Ticket Info: Individual single-game prices are $12 for the upper center area, $10 for the upper side, $8 for the upper wings, $6 for children and senior citizens (age 55+), and $5 group rate purchase of 12 tickets or more. Tickets may be purchased through the ASU Box Office by calling 870-972-2781 or 888-ASU-FANS. 2012-13 ticketinformation is available on ASU Athletics official website – www.AStateRedWolves.com.
The Records: Arkansas State (0-0, 0-0 SBC). The Red Wolves compiled a 14-20 overall mark with a fifth-place 6-10 Sun Belt Conference (SBC) West Division ledger. ASU was 10-5 at home, 2-14 on the road, and 2-1 in neutral sites outings last season. Henderson State (0-0, 0-0 GAC). The Reddies notched a 16-11 overall record in the 2012-13 season, which included a second-place 11-5 mark in the Great American Conference (GAC). HSU was 6-6 on the road, 9-3 at home, and 1-2 at neutral sites a season ago.
The Coaches: Arkansas State – John Brady (Bellhaven, 1976), 5th season, 61-66 (.480); Career - 342-282 (.548) – (1-0 vs. HSU*). Brady was named the 2009-10 SBC Coach of the Year and the District VII Coach of the Year by the United States BasketballWriters 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 NCAATournament appearances, which included a Final Four appearance in the 2005-06 season. *Denotes exhibition Henderson State – Doug Nichols (Texas A&M, 2005), 2nd season, 16-11 (.593) – (0-1 vs. ASU*). Nichols is the 27th coach in the program's history and arrived to HSU after spending the 2010-11 as the top assistant at Arkansas Tech. While at ATU, he helped the Wonder Boys to a Gulf South Conference West Division title along with a NCAA Division II South Regional Tourney Semifinal appearance and a 25-6 overall record. Nichols was an assistant coach at Stephen F. Austin in the 2009-10 campaign and spent one season (2008-09) in the same capacity at Angelina College in Lufkin, Texas. He served as an athletic assistant for men's basketball operations at Texas A&M under former coach Billy Gillispie.
The Opponent: The Reddies, who were picked third in the 2012-13 GAC Coaches' Preseason Poll, welcome back four starters from last season's squad. HSU's top three scorers – senior forward Andrew Ensley (15.6 ppg.), senior guard Denzel Lyles (15.3 ppg.), and junior guard Jonathan Fitzgerald (10.6 ppg.) all return this season. Lyles earned All-GAC First-Team and GAC Newcomer of the Year recognition a season ago.
Series Information: Arkansas State has a 13-7 advantage over Henderson State in a series which originated in the 1930-31 season. ASU dropped back-to-back decisions, 44-40 and 41-32, to the Reddies in the 1930-31 season. The last regular-season meeting between the two in-state schools occurred in 1951-52when the Red Wolves defeated HSU twice – 69-64 and 69-34. In exhibition play, A-State has prevailed in all four such contests with the most recent an 80-55 home triumph last season (11/3). ASU is 4-0 in exhibitions versus the Reddies under head coach John Brady with home victories of 93-46 (11/3/08) in his A-State debut, 80-61 (11/5/09), and 71-53 (11/8/10).
The Last Series Meeting: The Red Wolves posted an 80-55 home win against Henderson State last season (Nov. 3) as four A-State players cracked the double-figure scoring column. Marcus Hooten's game-high 17 points off the bench led the way while Trey Finn contributed 14 points. The contest, which ASU led 36-26 at the half, featured five ties and two lead changes.
Exhibition Play: ASU has registered a 16-1 record in its last 17 such outings and is midst a current 15 exhibition-game winning string. The Red Wolves have outscored the opposition by a 24.5 points per game average during tht period while averaging 86.1 points a game to their opponent's 61.6 points per contest. A-State recorded an 83-67 home exhibition victory over Southern Arkansas last Tuesday (11/1) at the ASU Convocation Center. The Red Wolves have won by double digits in 14 of their last 15 exhibitions to date, which includes their last seven games..
Last Time Out: The Red Wolves opened their 2012-13 exhibition slate on a winning note with an 83-67 home triumph over Southern Arkansas last Tuesday (11/1). A-State led 41-36 at halftime and maintained a double-figure almost the entire second half. ASU concluded the game connecting on 50.0% (28-56) from the floor, including 43.5% (10-23) from outside the three-point arc. A-State outrebounded the Muleriders by a 35-28 margin. Junior guard Ed Townsel led four ASU players in double-digit scoring with a game-high 22 points off the bench. Trey Finn scored 19 points, including 16 in the first half, while junior forward Kendrick Washington and senior guard Marcus Hooten netted 15 and 11 points, respectively. In rebounding, Townsel's sevenboards led all players while Washington and senior forward Brandon Peterson grabbed six caroms apiece.
ASU Picked Second: Arkansas State was picked to finish second in the Sun Belt Conference's West Division as a result of the 2012-13 SBC Coaches' Preseason Poll. The Red Wolves received 40 points in the ballotingto placed second behind favorite North Texas, which picked up 55 points and 11 first-place votes. Middle Tennessee was predicted to capture the East Division crown by claiming 11 first-place votes and 55 points.
All-SBC Preseason: Three ASU seniors – guards Trey Finn and Marcus Hooten along with forward Brandon Peterson were named to the 2012-13 Sun Belt Conference Preseason All-Conference Teams as selected by the league's head coaches. Finn earned first team honors while Peterson garnered second-team laurels and Hooten attainedthird-team recognition.
Primed For Success: Five of the 2011-12 squad's top six scorers are back for the 2012-13 season, including the Red Wolves' top points leader in Marcus Hooten (12.5 ppg.). The five, which includes four starters, accounted for 68.7% (1,510-2,198) of A-State's scoring last season.
Team Captains: The A-State captains for this 2012-13 season are Trey Finn, Marcus Hooten, and Brandon Peterson. Hooten started in 33 of 34 games a season ago while Finn competed in 29 of 30 encounters. Peterson earned the starting nod in all 34 ASU contests last season.
Season Openers: ASU visits the Dayton Flyers this Saturday (Nov. 10) in its first official 2012-13 regular-season contest. Opening tip is set for 1 p.m. (CT) at Dayton (Ohio) Arena in what represents the first-ever meeting between the two schools. The Red Wolves are 5-5 in regular-season openers since the 2002-03 campaign.