Back on the Road, Green Bay Faces Virginia on Saturday

Courtesy: Green Bay Athletics
         
Release: November 30, 2012
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Keifer Sykes and Virginia head coach Tony Bennett are the top-two freshman scorers for Green Bay in the past 25 years.

By: Andrew Gavin (@GBGavin)
GreenBayPhoenix.com

GREEN BAY, Wis. (GreenBayPhoenix.com) - Green Bay returns to the road to begin a three-game road trip with its second trip in as many years to Charlottesville, Va. to face Virginia at 3:07 p.m. on Fox Sports Wisconsin and ESPN3. While head coach Brian Wardle and the Phoenix will be playing their second game in the all-time series against Cavaliers, they will also be seeing a familiar face on the sidelines in former Green Bay standout and Virginia head coach Tony Bennett.

Bennett is the program's all-time leading scorer after starring in a Phoenix jersey from 1988-92. Virginia has won four-straight games, including Wednesday's impressive 60-54 victory at the Kohl Center against Wisconsin.

Green Bay enjoyed six days off since returning home on Nov. 24 with a 74-59 victory over another team that had won four-straight games, NDSU. The Phoenix knocked down 9-of-17 from long range and dished out a season-best 20 assists in the win.

FOLLOW THE PHOENIX: Phoenix fans will have numerous options to catch the action on Saturday afternoon, including Fox Sports Wisconsin, ESPN3 and a number of other television stations nationally. Rich Waltz will handle the play-by-play duties while Daymeon Fishbank will serve as the color analyst. To see the full list of channels carrying the game, click here.

The game will be carried live by WDUZ The Fan 1400 AM and online at thefan1075.com. The play-by-play voice of the Phoenix, Matt Menzl, will be on the call with Andrew Gavin. Live stats will be available on VirginiaSports.com. You can also stay up-to-date by following @GBPhoenixMBB and @GBGavin on Twitter.

THREE-POINT PLAY
1. FAIR AND BALANCED:
Led by leading scorer Keifer Sykes' 21-point game, Green Bay put five players in double figures against NDSU. Sultan Muhammad (13), Kam Cerroni (12), Brennan Cougill (12) and Alec Brown (10) joined Sykes in double figures as five Phoenix players reached double digits in a game for the first time since Feb. 12, 2012 at Detroit. The 20 assists handed out in the victory were the most by the Phoenix since Dec. 31, 2011 at Valpo, a span of 21 games.

2. OLD FOR 18: Syeks entered the 2012-13 season as a starting point guard and a team captain. He entered as a Preseason All-Horizon League Second-Team. The sophomore entered the year after a season in which he scored 335 points (most by a Phoenix freshman since Bennett) and was named to the Horizon League All-Newcomer Team. Amazingly, he also entered as an 18-year old, and he will stay that way through the first 13 games of his sophomore campaign. After playing his first 13 games at age 17, Sykes is now averaging 15.1 in 23 games as an 18-year old.

3. FAST START FOR THE FROSH: Wardle started a true freshman in the opener for the third-straight season, and freshman Jordan Fouse (Racine, Wis.) has made it look like a great decision. The 6-foot-7 Fouse is averaging 5.5 points and leads the team in rebounds (7.7), steals (1.5) and blocks (1.5) through six games. He has led the team in rebounding in four times.   

PHOENIX NOTES

  • INSIDE THE SERIES: Green Bay and Virginia will be meeting for the second-time all-time and the second time in the midst of a current three-game series. The Cavaliers won 68-42 in Charlottesville a season ago, with the Phoenix being led by Sykes' 11 points. Bennett will return to Green Bay with his Cavaliers for a game in 2013-14 to conclude the current series.
  • GREEN BAY VS. THE ACC: The Phoenix is 3-7 all-time against the current membership of the Atlantic Coast Conference. Green Bay has wins over Clemson, Miami and North Carolina State, with its most recent win being a 64-47 victory over Clemson on Nov. 27, 1999.
  • DOUBLE THE FUN: In its Division I history, Green Bay has had two players post double doubles on just four occasions. Remarkably, three of the four have come under Wardle in the past three seasons. The most recent was against Southern Utah on Nov. 16 when Brown had 17 points and 13 rebounds and Cougill registered 17 points and 10 boards in the 64-52 win.
  • STARTING SUB, SUBBING STARTER: Wardle decided to make a switch in the starting lineup prior to the game against NDSU, and it worked out well for both Muhammad and Cerroni. Muhammad made his first start in a Phoenix uniform and made 4-of-6 threes and scored a career-high 13 points. Cerroni, the Horizon League's leader in three-point percentage in 2011-12, broke out a shooting slump by hitting 3-of-5 from long range and adding 12 points.
  • SYKES SANS SOPHOMORE SLUMP: Sykes has picked up where he left off in 2011-12, avoiding the dreaded sophomore slump in the process. Sykes has reached double figures in five of six games this season and dating back to his freshman campaign has scored 10 or more in 20 of the past 23 games. He leads the team in scoring at 16.3 points per game, and after making just 7-of-30 three-pointers in 2011-12, Sykes has gone 5-for-11 from long range as a sophomore.
  • BLOCK PARTY: In his time at Green Bay, 7-foot-1 Alec Brown has swatted 164 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.
  • ELITE COMPANY: Brown was in elite company in 2011-12. Brown, then a sophomore, was one of only two players to average at least 13 points, eight rebounds and three blocks per game. The other? Kentucky's Anthony Davis, who was selected first overall in the 2012 NBA Draft. Brown is a Preseason All-Horizon League First-Team selection heading into 2012-13.

TWEETABLE TIDBITS (FOLLOW @GBPHOENIXMBB)

  • In the midst of an 8-gm stretch with only 1 home game, @GBPhoenixMBB will travel 4,112 miles #gophoenix
  • After playing 13 gms as a 17-year old, Sykes will play 30 gms at age 18. Thru 23 gms at the age, he's averaging 15.1 ppg #gophoenix
  • In a pair of home games at the @ReschCenter, Sykes has scored 52 points and made 21-of-23 free throws #gophoenix #HLMBB
  • Senior Brennan Cougill and sophomore Keifer Sykes have both scored in double figures in 5 of 6 games this year #gophoenix #HLMBB
  • Seven different @gbphoenixmbb players have scored in double figures at least one in 2012-13 #gophoenix #HLMBB
  • Freshman Jordan Fouse leads @gbphoenixmbb in rebounds, blocks and steals and has at least 6 boards in each game #gophoenix #HLMBB
  • The 6-foot-9, 265-pound Brennan Cougill is ranked in the top-10 in the @HorizonLeague in assists and A/TO ratio #gophoenix #HLMBB

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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, visit the athletics department offices in the Kress Events Center or access GreenBayPhoenix.com/tickets.

For the latest and most up-to-date information on Green Bay Athletics, please visit GreenBayPhoenix.com.

Follow us on Twitter: @GBPhoenix, @GBPhoenixMBB and @GBGavin.

Like Green Bay Phoenix men's basketball and Green Bay Phoenix Athletics on Facebook.

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