FLYING WITH THE PHOENIX: INSIDE GREEN BAY MEN'S BASKETBALL
Editor's Note: Flying with the Phoenix presented by Frontier Airlines will follow the Green Bay men's basketball team throughout the 2010-11 season as the Brian Wardle era kicks off. Director of Athletics Communications Andrew Gavin will bring you behind the scenes access to the program, with commentary and updates on the Phoenix both at home in Green Bay and on the road. Head coach Brian Wardle, his staff and the players will also add guest commentary throughout the season.
MEET ASSISTANT COACH JIMMIE FOSTER
At Tuesday night's Inside Phoenix Basketball show, Phoenix fans were introduced to Green Bay assistant coach Jimmie Foster, who is in his first season on the coaching staff. Foster appeared on the show live, but the live audience and those watching on GreenBayPhoenix.com also watched a video which showed the coach's personality on the court during practices and games. If you missed it, watch the video feature below and get to know Coach Foster.
BAKE BRINGING TOUGHNESS, WINNING MENTALITY TO PHOENIX
While much of the story in Green Bay's 71-69 win over North Dakota State last Saturday was the play of seniors Rahmon Fletcher and Bryquis Perine, junior Steve Baker quietly had his biggest game in a Phoenix uniform.
In a career-high 35 minutes, Baker posted career highs of 14 points and seven rebounds while adding three assists and two blocks. He hit 5-of-7 shots and both of his three-point attempts, Green Bay's lone makes from long range in the game.After Fletcher picked up his fourth foul and went to the bench with 10:43 to play, Baker drilled his second three of the game to tie the score at 52-52. A few minutes later, he put an end to a 9-0 NDSU run, and with just under four minutes to play, he knocked down a pair of free throws to cut the lead to one.
"Bake is just one of those high-energy winners," said head coach Brian Wardle. "He is a tough kid who just knows how to make plays. He doesn't always do everything technically right, and if you wanted to coach him technically you could stop every practice and correct him, but you just have to let a kid like that play, and he made some huge plays for us [against NDSU]. That is what he does, and that is why he is on the floor."
PERINE HAS FLETCHER'S BACK
Senior Rahmon Fletcher was on pace for nearly 40 points Saturday night against North Dakota State. But then, things changed as Green Bay's all-conference guard ended up in foul trouble and was forced to watch all but 14 seconds of the final 10 minutes from the bench.
With his team falling behind and on the verge of losing at home, senior Bryquis Perine took over in his backcourt mate' absence, scoring 10 of Green Bay's final 12 points and hitting his final six shots from the field in leading a Phoenix rally. He capped his 18-point night with the game-winning jumper with nine seconds remaining as Green Bay posted a 71-69 win.
As for Fletcher, he finished with 24 points and is averaging 21 points per game in the team's three victories. Read more about the game.
HOME SWEET HOME
Despite having five games in the books, Green Bay will be playing its first game on its true home floor Saturday night at 7 p.m. when it hosts North Dakota State at 7 p.m. at the Resch Center. The Phoenix is 1-0 at home this season, but its 75-36 win over Minnesota Duluth on Nov. 13 was at the Kress Events Center.
Green Bay will look to carry over the homecourt advantage it has enjoyed from the past few seasons. The Phoenix is 35-9 at the Resch Center since 2007-08 for a winning percentage of .795. In 2009-10, Green Bay went 11-4 at home.
Tickets for the game are still available with the Green Bay ticket office. For more information, click here.
ROAD RALLY LED BY SENIORS
When their team needed them Sunday to avoid a third-straight loss while playing on the road at Miami, the Green Bay seniors stepped up and made plays. Senior Rahmon Fletcher hit 7-of-8 shots and scored 18 of his 23 points after halftime, Bryquis Perine scored 10 second-half points and hit all eight of his free throws, and the more unheralded Greg LeSage came off the bench to contribute three points and four rebounds in 22 valuable minutes.
Fletcher talks about the victory in the above video.
Read More about the team's win over Miami
At 31 and the second-youngest head coach in the country, Brian Wardle will be the youngest of the two head coaches in each of Green Bay's games this season. In games on Saturday and Sunday in the CBE Classic in Oxford, Ohio, Brian Wardle's youth and energy will be considerably noticeable as his coaching counterparts will be more than twice his age. San Diego State head coach Steve Fisher is 65 years old while Miami head coach Charlie Coles is 68. While still more than 10 years his elder, Monday's opponent Ron Hunter of IUPUI is in his mid-40s and much closer to being in Wardle's generation.
GREEN BAY TO FACE NATIONALLY-RANKED OPPONENT IN OHIO
The last time Green Bay took the floor, it played against a talented Marquette squad from the BIG EAST. When it returns to game action on Saturday for the second game of the CBE Classic in Oxford, Ohio, the schedule only gets tougher. Its opponent on Saturday is not only ranked 25th nationally, but San Diego State is also coming off a 79-76 victory at No. 11/12 Gonzaga on Tuesday night.
The Aztecs return all five starters from a team that won the Mountain West tournament championship a season ago and won 25 games. Sophomore Kawhi Leonard returns after averaging 12.7 points and 9.9 rebounds per game as a freshman. Now a sophomore, the 6-foot-7 Leonard is averaging 19.5 points and 12 rebounds per game.
Green Bay true freshman Daniel Turner could find himself guarding Leonard at times Saturday. The 6-foot-6 Turner (shown above) made his college debut Wednesday at Marquette after coming back from injury and scored four points in 10 minutes. Look for Turner to see more minutes on Saturday and throughout Green Bay's three games in Oxford. The Phoenix plays the tourney host, Miami (OH), on Sunday and another 25-win team from a season ago, IUPUI, on Monday.
ARMSTEAD BECOMES THIRD SIGNEE FOR CLASS OF 2011
Aaron Armstead signed his National Letter of Intent (NLI) on Wednesday, indicating that he would come to Green Bay to play his collegiate basketball for head coach Brian Wardle and the Phoenix.
The 6-foot-4 guard is a Chicago native who plays at Hales Franciscan High School. He averaged 10 points and 3.6 assists per game as a junior in 2009-10. Armstead joins Greg Mays and Keifer Sykes, who signed NLIs to play at Green Bay last week.
"Aaron is a very versatile guard that can play multiple positions," head coach Brian Wardle said of Armstead. "He can play the one, two or three, and he can just really score the ball. Like the other guys, he is a high-motor guy who is a fierce competitor."
Read more about Armstead's signing.
WARDLE WINS DEBUT BEHIND STRONG DEFENSIVE EFFORT
Holding Minnesota Duluth to just 36 points, Green Bay got its 2010-11 season and the head coaching career of Brian Wardle off to a strong start on Saturday afternoon, posting a 75-36 victory over the visitors in the first men's basketball regular season game ever played at the Kress Events Center. Senior Rahmon Fletcher scored a game-high 16 points for the Phoenix.
Click here to read more about Green Bay's win.
Click here to check out the postgame notes.
PHOENIX DOUBLING UP BULLDOGS MIDWAY THROUGH SECOND
With just under eight minutes remaining in the second half, Green Bay holds a 60-30 lead over visiting Minnesota Duluth. Senior Rahmon Fletcher leads the Phoenix with 16 points while Bryquis Perine and Jarvis Williams have 11 and 10 respectively. Freshman Alec Brown has seven points, six rebounds and six blocks in the contest. His six blocks are just one shy of tying the school record.
GREEN BAY-MINNESOTA DULUTH UNDERWAY
Green Bay is off to a strong start on both ends of the floor through the first 12 minutes of the opening half. After back-to-back fastbreak buckets, the Phoenix leads 20-7 with 7:46 remaining.
Freshman Alec Brown has hit the ground running in his first college game, with six points, six rebounds and two blocks.
PERINE, FLETCHER READY FOR FINAL SEASON
Their college careers have not always been identical, their successes and failures not always paralleled, but for Green Bay seniors Bryquis Perine and Rahmon Fletcher, they have done it and lived it all together. Part of the same recruiting class, the pair arrived on campus in the fall of 2007 from different cities and states, but while here formed a bond they feel will last a lifetime.
"As soon as we got here we just clicked and we have always been good friends and hopefully that will last forever," said Perine. "You learn something about a person all the time, and I have learned things about him and he has learned things about me. It has just grown from that."
Read More about the seniors on and off the court.
CHECK OUT HIGHLIGHTS OF GREEN BAY RECRUIT GREG MAYS
WARDLE INKED TWO TALENTED PLAYERS WEDNESDAY
Green Bay head coach Brian Wardle signed two talented young players Wednesday to National Letters of Intent (NLIs) on Wednesday. Two Chicagoland products - PG Keifer Sykes and PF Greg Mays - will join the program in the fall.
Read more about Sykes and Mays
GREEN BAY VS. EDGEWOOD POSTGAME PRESS CONFERENCE
Watch Brian Wardle, Rahmon Fletcher and Alec Brown talk about Green Bay's 78-55 exhibition win over Edgewood on Monday night.
BROWN PACES GREEN BAY IN EXHIBITION WIN
It may have only been an exhibition game, but Alec Brown (Winona, Minn.) will probably never forget his first basketball game at the Resch Center. The 7-foot-1 freshman scored 17 points and grabbed five rebounds in just 19 minutes of play Monday night to lead the Green Bay men's basketball team to a 78-55 victory over visiting Edgewood.
Brown scored his 17 points on just seven shots, connecting on five of them. He scored 11 points in the opening half, hitting 2-of-4 field goals and 7-of-8 free throws in 12 minutes.
"I thought today he had a good mindset, and making your first shot always helps," said head coach Brian Wardle of Brown. "He did a really good job of being aggressive from the start. I think Alec is only going to get better. He is growing confidence and the guys have a ton of confidence in him. He is getting it and figuring it all out, and I think Phoenix fans are going to really enjoy watching him play in years to come."
Click here to read more about Green Bay's win.
MNB: MONDAY NIGHT BASKETBALL
Sunday and Monday are going to be busy days and nights on Oneida Street in Green Bay. On Sunday night, the Green Bay Packers will be hosting the Dallas Cowboys at 7:20 p.m. at historic Lambeau Field. Less than 24 hours later, just down the street at the Resch Center, the focus will shift away from Monday Night Football and to Monday Night Basketball when the Green Bay men's basketball team hosts Edgewood College at 7 p.m. The game will be an exhibition game for the Phoenix and the first time fans can see the 2010-11 team in action under first-year head coach Brian Wardle.
For part of Sunday, Green Bay will be invading the tailgaters area for a few hours to practice at the Resch from 11-1. The Phoenix is the only Division I basketball team in the country to play just a block away from one of the most historic venues in all of sports. For the next 48 hours, it will be a couple of busy days for the neighboring teams.
Tickets for Monday night's game are just $10 for all fans. Click here for information on 2010-11 tickets.
THE PHOENIX LOOKING FORWARD TO PLAYING SOMEONE ELSE
Nearly three weeks into practice for the 2010-11 season, Green Bay has been hard at work to get ready for the upcoming season. With seven newcomers and a new coaching staff getting familiar with each other, each and every practice has been valuable for the Phoenix. After battling each other day in and day out in competitive practices, the players are counting down the days until they get to finally compete against another squad.
"The guys are definitely looking forward to playing together as one and seeing where we stand against another team," head coach Brian Wardle. "We have had a competitive few weeks of practice, so it will be nice to see how the team reacts in a game setting on Monday."
While Wardle welcomes seven newcomers to the squad, he does return three seniors in Rahmon Fletcher (above center), Bryquis Perine (above left) and Greg LeSage (above right). Fletcher returns after averaging 15.8 points per game as a junior. He was named to the Horizon League Preseason All-Conference first team on Oct. 19.
"It's a bittersweet feeling," Fletcher said of thinking about this being his last season. "I'm looking forward to the next step and playing at the next level, but I am focused now on working towards a Horizon League Championship. I'm definitely looking forward to the season [getting started]."
Green Bay's lone exhibition contest is just five days away as the Phoenix will host Edgewood College at the Resch Center Monday night at 7 p.m. Tickets to see the Phoenix on its home court for the first time this season are just $10. Click here for information on 2010-11 tickets.