GREEN BAY, Wis. (GreenBayPhoenix.com) - The Green Bay men's basketball team will play its lone official tune-up for the 2012-13 season on Wednesday evening, hosting an exhibition contest against St. Norbert College at 7 p.m. at the Kress Events Center.
Tickets for the team's lone appearance of the season at the Kress Center can be purchased for $10 for adults and $7 for youth. As part of pregame festivities, the Phoenix women's basketball team will be around to trick-or-treat with children throughout the Kress Center. Any youth fan in attendance wearing a Halloween costume will get in free with the purchase of an adult ticket. For more information on tickets for the game, please call 920.465.2526.
Green Bay head coach Brian Wardle welcomes back all five starters from a team that won eight of its last 10 regular season games and finished the 2011-12 season 15-15 overall. Among the Phoenix returners are 7-foot-1 junior Alec Brown (Winona, Minn.) and sophomore point guard Keifer Sykes (Chicago, Ill.), who were both named to Preseason All-Horizon League teams. Brown and Sykes led the team with respective scoring averages of 13.8 and 11.2 points per game a year ago.
Wednesday's contest will mark the second-straight season Wardle's team has played an exhibition at the on-campus Kress Center and the fourth time the program has played in the facility. In the first game the program at the facility, Green Bay hosted St. Norbert on Nov. 7, 2009, and the Phoenix posted a 71-54 victory over the Green Knights.
St. Norbert and Green Bay have played 12 times in regular season play, with the Phoenix holding a 10-2 advantage. Green Bay has won the past 10 regular season meetings (last in 1974), and the Phoenix has won both of the exhibition contests (2006 and 2009).
The Green Knights, who had a 16-9 record a year ago, are coached by former Phoenix player Gary Grzesk, who starred for the program from 1992-96 and graduated from UW-Green Bay in 1996. During his career with the Phoenix, Grzesk totaled 542 points, 496 assists and 154 steals in 120 games played. In the Green Bay record book, he ranks third in assists, sixth in steals and tied for eighth in games played.
• SOLO SENIOR: One of the returning starters for the Phoenix is 6-foot-9 Brennan Cougill (Sioux City, Iowa), the roster's lone senior. Last season, in his first year with the program, Cougill averaged 9.2 points and ranked fifth in the Horizon League in rebounding (7.0). Cougill will be suiting up for a second season in the same uniform for the first time in his career after previously playing for Iowa and Kirkwood Community College.
• STREAKIN' CERRONI: Another returning starter is junior Kam Cerroni (Sussex, Wis.), who led the Horizon League in three-point shooting as a sophomore in 2011-12. Cerroni knocked down 46.5 percent (60-129) from long range and will enter this season having knocked down a triple in 19 games in a row dating back to Dec. 13, 2011.
• HOMEGROWN: A year after bringing in a talented freshman class of Chicago natives, Wardle looked closer to home for seniors from the Class of 2012. The Phoenix roster consists of four freshmen from Wisconsin who could potentially make their debuts in Phoenix uniforms on Wednesday, including Nick Arenz (Onalaska, Wis.), Ryan Bross (Menominee Falls, Wis.), Jordan Fouse (Racine, Wis.) and Carrington Love (Milwaukee, Wis.).
• BLOCK PARTY: It has become a little tougher for Green Bay opponents to shoot in the lane since Brown's arrival on campus. In his first two seasons, the 7-foot-1 Brown has swatted 156 shots to shatter the Phoenix career record. With 89 blocks as a sophomore, Brown averaged 3.0 per game, a number that ranked in the top-10 nationally. Another 36 combined blocks from Cougill and sophomore Greg Mays (Chicago, Ill.) helped the team register a school-record 142 for the year.
• TALL ORDER: Wardle pledged early on in his tenure to add height and length to the Phoenix roster. Consider it mission accomplished as the roster's 14 players have an average height of over 6-foot-5. The addition of the 7-foot-1 Bross gives Green Bay a pair of seven-footers, and six others stand at least 6-foot-6. Newcomers Alfonzo McKinnie (6-8), Arenz (6-8) and Fouse (6-7) will help to make Green Bay one of the tallest teams in the Horizon League.
Read a full season preview of the men's basketball team and watch a 1-on-1 interview with Wardle.
Full season ticket and Pick 5 packages are on sale now with the Green Bay Athletics Ticket Office. For more information and to order tickets, please call 920.465.2625 or visit the athletics department offices in the Kress Events Center.
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