ASU men will host Middle Tennessee Thursday - KAIT-Jonesboro, AR-News, weather, sports

ASU men will host Middle Tennessee Thursday

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Game 14: Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders (11-3, 3-0 Sun Belt) at
 Arkansas State Red Wolves (8-5, 2-2 Sun Belt)
January 3, 2013  •  ASU Convocation Center
Jonesboro, Arkansas •  7:05 p.m. (CT)
Radio: EAB Sports Radio Network (107.9 KFIN-FM, flagship) – Matt Stolz (Play-By-Play)
TV: None
LIVE STATS & VIDEO WEBCAST: www.AStateRedWolves.com<http://www.AStateRedWolves.com>


Tip Off: The Arkansas State University men's basketball team will open the 2013 New Year with a three-game Sun Belt Conference (SBC) homestand in Jonesboro, Ark.  The Red Wolves begin action on their home floor this Thursday (Jan. 3) evening versus the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders at the ASU Convocation Center with a 7:05 p.m. (CT) start time scheduled for the conference tilt.

2012-13 A-StAte MBB Ticket Info: Tickets for the 2012-13 ASU men's basketball season are now on sale.  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 bepurchased through the ASU Box Office by calling 870-972-2781 or 888-ASU-FANS.  2012-13 ticket information is available on ASU Athletics official website – www.AStateRedWolves.com.

The Records: Arkansas State (8-5, 2-2 Sun Belt).  The Red Wolves finished out 2012 with a 63-54 conference road victory over South Alabama last Saturday (12/29) night at USA's Mitchell Center in Mobile, Ala.  A-State, which is midst a current two-game winning streak, has posted a 5-1 home ledger while the Red Wolves are 2-4 on the road and 0-0 in neutral site encounters this season.  Middle Tennessee (11-3, 3-0 Sun Belt).  The Blue Raiders extended their winning streak to four straight with a 75-57 conference home victory over North Texas Monday (12/31) night in Murfreesboro.  MTSU is 3-2 on the road, 8-0 at home, and 0-1 at neutral sites this season.  A season ago, MTSU registered a 27-7 record overall with a first-place 14-2 SBC East Division mark.  The Blue Raiders were 15-2 at home, 11-4 on the road, and 1-1 at neutral sites.

The Coaches: Arkansas State – John Brady (Bellhaven, 1976), 5th season, 69-71 (.493); Career - 350-287 (.549) – (3-3 vs. MTSU).  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.
 Middle Tennessee – Kermit Davis (Mississippi State, 1982), 11th season, 191-136 (.584); Career – 18th season, 328-211 (.609) – (11-5 vs. ASU).  Davis, a two-time (2003 and 2012) SBC Coach of the Year Award recipient, is the program's all-time winningest coach and ranks second among active SBC coaches in league victories.  The former LSU associate head coach for five seasons under John Brady earned the 2012 NABC District 24 Coach of the Yearhonors along with 2008 and 2010 College Insider SBC Coach of the Year accolades.  He also has served as head coach at Southwest Mississippi CC (1984-86), Idaho (1988-90 and 1996-97), Texas A&M (1990-91), and Chipola JC (1993-94).  Davis was tabbed as the Big Sky Conference's Coach of the Year twice (1989 and 1990) at Idaho.

About Middle Tennessee:  MTSU is presently led in scoring by senior guard Marcos Knight (12.1 ppg.) and junior forward Shawn Jones (10.1 ppg.), who have combined for 31.9% (312-978) of the squad's points production to date this campaign.  The two also lead the Blue Raiders in rebounding as Jones (6.5 rpg.) and Knight (5.6 rpg.) rank one and two, respectively.  Nationally, Jones is 84th in double-doubles (three) while senior guard Raymond Cintron ranks 151st in three-point field goals per game (2.23 avg.) and junior guard Tweety Knight is 187th in steals an outing (1.69 avg.).  MTSU ranks 23rd among the national leaders in three-point field goal defense (27.9%) while the Blue Raiders are 42nd in scoring defense (59.2 ppg.), 60th in scoring margin (10.3 pts.), 64th in turnover margin (2.7), and 86th in steals (8.2 spg.).

All-Time Series: Middle Tennessee has a 14-13 edge in the all-time series which originated in the 1947-48 season.  ASU dropped a 48-33 decision to the Blue Raiders in the inaugural 1947-48 meeting.
• The Red Wolves are 3-4 in their last seven matchups, which includes a 2-1 home ledger.  The two teams split a pair of contests last season as ASU dropped a 59-46 road decision in Murfreesboro, Tenn. (1/19) before claiming a 2012 SBC Tournament Second-Round 64-61 triumph over the top-seeded Blue Raiders (3/4) at the Summit Arena in Hot Springs, Ark.
• ASU is averaging 64.7 points per game (453 pts.) to MTSU's 67.1 pointsan outing (470 pts.) in the last seven meetings.  Twelve of the last 14 matchups have been decided by 10 points or less, including nine by four points or less.  The Red Wolves are 5-4 in those outings where the margin is four points or less.  
• In last season's two encounters, Marcus Hooten averaged a team-best 15.0 ppg. (30 pts.) and Trey Finn recorded a 13.5 ppg. average (27 pts.).  Brandon Peterson was ASU's top rebounder at 9.0 rpg. (18 rebs.) and Trey Finn recorded a 6.0 rpg. average (12 rebs.).

In The Sun Belt Conference:  The Red Wolves are 173-175 (.497) 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 is 36-17 at home and 15-15 on the road since the 2006-07 season.
• ASU head coach John Brady has posted a 35-37 record (.486) in Sun Belt Conference contests since his arrival in the 2008-09 season, which consists of a 25-10 home ledger and a 10-27 away mark.
• The Red Wolves are 26-21 (.553) in January conference games dating back to 2006-07, which consists of a 19-6 home mark and a 7-15 road ledger.  ASU's best performance was a 7-1 record in the 2009-10 season as the Red Wolves went 4-0 at home and 3-1 on the road en route to a 17-14 overall mark.
• 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.

January Matchups: ASU has registered a 27-24 record (.529) in January games dating back to the 2006-07 season.  The Red Wolves are 20-6 at home, 7-18 on the road, and 0-0 at neutral sites.  ASU's best performance during that span was in the 2009-10 campaign when the Red Wolves posted a 7-2 mark, which featured a 4-0 ledger.  The Red Wolves were 2-6 in January encounters (2-3 at home) a season ago.  ASU's top returning scorer last January was Marcus Hooten, who averaged 12.5 ppg. (100 pts.) while Trey Finn (9.6 ppg.), Ed Townsel (7.8 ppg.), and Brandon Peterson (7.8ppg.) were also among the squad's leading points producers.  Peterson (9.1 rpg.) and Finn (5.7 rpg.) led the Red Wolves in rebounding last season in eight and seven January outings, respectively.

Nationally Speaking: ASU presently ranks 22nd among the NCAA Division I leaders in steals per game (9.7 avg.), 26th in turnover margin (3.8 avg.), 111th in scoring offense (70.8 ppg.), and 168th in scoring defense (65.8 ppg.) through Dec. 30 contests.  The Red Wolves are 127th in scoring margin (5.0), 238th       in field-goal percentage (41.7%), 217th in field-goal percentage defense (43.2%), 146th in three-point field goals per game (6.4 avg.), 183rd in three-point field goal percentage (33.1%), and 250th in free-throw percentage (66.0%).  Individually, Brandon Peterson is 25th both in double-doubles (five) and rebounds (9.8 rpg.), and 142nd in blocked shots (1.46 bpg.).  Ed Townsel ranks 45th in three-point field goals per game (2.77), 54th in three-point field-goal percentage (40.0%), 75th in steals (2.0 spg.), and 135th in points (16.2 ppg.).  Rakeem Dickerson ranks 150th in steals per game (1.77 spg.).

Red Wolf Howl Alerts: Rakeem Dickerson has connected on 85.0% (17-20) of his free throws over the last six contests, which included a 7-8 performance (87.5%) against Louisiana-Lafayette (12/27) ... Trey Finn is 22 rebounds away from registering his 600th career board ... Brandon Peterson has amassed 10 double-figure scoring games this campaign, which included a nine-game streak (11/13-12/19) ... Senior guard Marcus Hooten is averaging 9.5 points a game (19 pts.) in his last two games while shooting 41.7% (5-12) from the floor.  In his two prior outings, Hooten  averaged 3.5 points per outing (seven pts.) and had a 16.7% (2-12) field-goal percentage ... Ed Townsel's team-high tying nine rebounds at South Alabama (12/29) represents a career high, eclipsing his eight boards versus UALR last season (1/14).  Townsel is averaging 7.5 rpg. (15 rebs.) in his last two appearances ... Trey Finn is two steals shy of tying Jay Hansen (1980-84; 133 career) for fifth place among ASU's all-time steals leaders.

Home Court Advantage: A-State is 251-95 record (.725) on its home court since 1987-88 and has posted double-digit home victories 14 times in a season, which includes a 10-5 home ledger in 2011-12.  The Red Wolves are 5-1 at home this campaign with the only blemish being a 61-54 loss to Murray State (12/19).  ASU is averaging 75.3 ppg. (452 total) to its opponent's 59.7 ppg. (358 total) for a +15.7 ppg. differential.

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