Green Bay Aims for Win at South Dakota on Saturday
GREEN BAY, Wis. (GreenBayPhoenix.com) – In the past week, the Green Bay men’s basketball team has experienced both the highs and the lows of a college basketball season. After posting a 75-72 victory over Virginia last Saturday, the Phoenix had a quick turnaround and was dealt a 67-59 setback at Eastern Michigan on Tuesday.
On Saturday, Green Bay will have a chance to improve to 3-0 this season after losses when it plays a road contest at South Dakota at 7 p.m. CT at the DakotaDome in Vermillion, S.D.
Senior Alec Brown (Winona, Minn.) led the Phoenix on Tuesday with 19 points and 10 rebounds, his second double-double of the season and 14th of his career. Brown, who entered the game with only 17 free-throw attempts, was 8-of-10 from the line against Eastern Michigan. Green Bay lost the contest despite owning a 37-29 edge in rebounding.
South Dakota is 3-6 and has lost 3-straight games, but the Coyotes most recently fell just 64-62 at Kansas State. Brandon Bos (13.7 ppg) and Trevor Gruis (11.8 ppg) lead the Coyotes’ offense, with the 6-10 Gruis shooting 61.8 percent from the field.
GREEN BAY PROBABLE STARTERS
G – #24 Keifer Sykes, G, Jr., 5-11, 175
G – #5 Lamin Fulton, G, Jr., 5-10, 175
F – #4 Jordan Fouse, F, So., 6-7, 225
F – #15 Greg Mays, F, Jr., 6-9, 222
C – #21 Alec Brown, C, Sr., 7-1, 235
LIVE COVERAGE: Fans can watch a pay-per-view webcast of Saturday’s game live on GoYotes.com. In addition, fans can listen live to a radio broadcast of the contest on WNFL 1440 AM or online at GreenBayPhoenix.com with Matt Menzl (play-by-play) and Andrew Gavin (analyst) on the call.
INSIDE THE SERIES: In the only meeting between the two programs, Green Bay posted a 72-55 victory last season at the Resch Center on Dec. 22, 2012. Alec Brown (19) and Keifer Sykes (17) combined for 36 points on 14-of-18 shooting, and the the Phoenix had runs of 15-2 and 12-2.
SEEING 20/20: Against Virginia, Sykes accomplished something that not even Tony Bennett accomplished. He became the first Phoenix player in the Division I era and first since Joe Mauel in 1979-80 to scored 20-plus points in six-straight games (32, 21, 23, 26, 25, 21). Sykes saw his streak end at Eastern Michigan on Tuesday, when he scored 13 points. During the streak, Sykes averaged 24.7 points and 5.7 assists per game and was 45-of-49 from the free-throw line.
COMBINED D: Green Bay has registered 63 blocks and 63 steals through eight games this season, ranking fourth nationally in blocks. The Phoenix is on pace to break the single-season program record in both blocks and steals. With five of the top-10 single-game blocks marks in 2013-14, Green Bay is on pace to break the blocks record for the fourth-straight year.
ALMA MATER: Green Bay assistant coach Jimmie Foster is a 2002 graduate of the University of South Dakota, where he was a 2-time all-conference selection as a junior and a senior. Unfortunately for Foster and the Phoenix, he is unable to make the trip to Vermillion this weekend due to a torn achilles tendon suffered at Monday’s practice.
WINNING WEEKLY: With Sykes winning three times, including this week, Green Bay has won the past four Horizon League Player of the Week awards. Sykes won on Nov. 18, Dec. 2 and Dec. 9, and senior Alec Brown took home the honor on Nov. 25. Green Bay is the first team in Horizon League history to win four-straight player of the week awards.
SYKES SEVEN: Sykes is the program’s all-time leader in Horizon League Player of the Week awards with seven. He notched one honor as a freshman, three as a sophomore and now three more as a junior. The seven weekly awards tied former Cleveland State standout and current Miami Heat guard Norris Cole for the fifth-most in conference history.
QUICK GRAND: Sykes was honored prior to last Saturday’s game for becoming the 26th member of the program’s 1,000-point club in the team’s 67-59 win over Tulsa on Nov. 30. Doing so in his 70th career game, Sykes became the third-fastest player in the program’s Division I history to join the 1,000-ponit club (Tony Bennett-56; Richard Sims-68).
STREAKING SOPHOMORE: Sophomore Jordan Fouse (Racine, Wis.) opened the 2013-14 season by extending two impressive statistical streaks. The reigning rebounding champion in the Horizon League has also grabbed five or more boards in 27 consecutive games. At Eastern Michigan, the 6-foot-7 sophomore wing had a streak of blocking a shot end at 30.
RECORD HEIST: Against Virginia, Fouse tallied eight steals to break the single-game program record. The eighth steal was possibly the play of the game. With Green Bay leading 71-69, Fouse stole a pass from Malcolm Brogdon and converted a layup for a four-point lead.
TOUGH LOSSES: Green Bay has dropped three games this season, losing to Wisconsin (11-0), Harvard (9-1) and Eastern Michigan (6-3) teams that have combined for a 26-4 record to date. The Phoenix held second-half leads against both Wisconsin and Harvard. Entering Tuesday, Green Bay’s strength of schedule ranked seventh in the country.
MID-MAJOR POLL: Green Bay has moved up to No. 12 in this week’s CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Poll after ranking No. 14 and No. 15 in the past two weeks. Green Bay was No. 21 in the first three polls.
All tickets for the 2013-14 men’s basketball season are on sale now. For more information about season tickets, ticket packages and more, please visit the ticketing page at GreenBayPhoenix.com.For the latest and most up-to-date information on Green Bay Athletics, please visit GreenBayPhoenix.com.