Road Trip Continues Tuesday Night at Idaho
GREEN BAY, Wis. (GreenBayPhoenix.com) - Life out west continues for Green Bay (2-2) on Tuesday night as the Phoenix takes on Idaho (0-2) at 9:05 p.m. CT in Memorial Gym. The contest will be the fourth in five days for a Green Bay team that has split its first four games. After opening the season with two wins, the Phoenix fell victim to a game-winning three at Nevada on Saturday night and a slow start on Sunday afternoon against a hot-shooting Cal State Fullerton squad.
Green Bay faces Idaho for the second-straight season and the third time in the all-time series. The Phoenix used 19 points and 19 rebounds from Brennan Cougill (Sioux City, Iowa) to clip the Vandals 63-61 at the Resch on Dec. 22, 2011. The only other meeting was a 62-50 Phoenix victory in Moscow on Nov. 17, 2000. The Phoenix has struggled to shoot the ball from long range in the first four games (14-68) but has been dominate on the glass with a plus-11.2 rebounding margin.
Green Bay has three players averaging in double figures and seven different players on the roster that have posted double figures in at least one contest. Sophomore Keifer Sykes (Chicago, Ill.) leads the team at 16 points per game while big men Alec Brown (Winona, Minn.) and Cougill have posted 12.8 and 12.3 points, respectively.
FOLLOW THE PHOENIX: Fans will be able to follow the action in numerous ways on Tuesday night. 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 alongside Andrew Gavin. Live stats and live video will be provided by GoVandals.com. You can also stay up-to-date by following @GBPhoenixMBB and @GBGavin on Twitter.
A live video broadcast will be available on GreenBayPhoenix.com, and Phoenix Access subscribers will be able to watch the game for free using their account. To watch, click here.
FAST START FOR THE FROSH: Brian 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 has been a monster on the glass and is averaging 6.8 points, 8.0 rebounds, 1.5 steals and 1.3 blocks through four games. He had 11 points and nine boards against CSF.
BACKBOARD BEASTS: The Phoenix has been dominant on the glass on both ends of the court through four games this season. Green Bay has outrebounded all four of its opponents by at least five boards and leads the Horizon League with a plus-11.2 rebounding margin. Alec Brown (8.5), Jordan Fouse (8.0) and Brennan Cougill (6.0) all rank in the top-six in the league in rebounding while Fouse (3.5) leads the conference in offensive boards. Green Bay is atop the league's chart in offensive rebounds (16.3) and offensive rebound percentage (.411).
ELITE COMPANY: Brown was in elite company in 2011-12. The 7-foot-1 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.
WHERE HE LEFT OFF: Sykes picked up this season where he left off in 2011-12, winning the Horizon League's first player of the week honor. The 5-foot-11 guard posted a new career high with 31 points in the opening win over Chicago State. Then a freshman, Sykes also claimed the league's last weekly award in 2011-12 when he scored a career-high 27 points against another team from his hometown, at UIC.
OLD FOR 18: Sykes entered the 2012-13 season as a starting point guard and a team captain. He entered as a Preseason All-Horizon League Second-Team. He entered the year after a season in which he scored 335 points 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 15.0 in 21 games as an 18-year old.
THIS IS GREEN BAY BASKETBALL: The 2012-13 season will be the 44th in the history of the Green Bay men's basketball program. Since the first year of Green Bay men's basketball in 1969-70, the program has an all-time record of 761-515.
ROAD TRIPPIN': Green Bay finishes off a stretch of four games in five days. After the World Vision Classic and three games in three days, Green Bay made a trek to Moscow, Idaho to take on Idaho. In the midst of the current 35-day span, the Phoenix will play seven of its eight games away from its home floor and will travel over 4,000 miles.
FREE FOR ALL: Green Bay's offensive struggles against Chicago State did not stop the team from breaking long-standing school records or from surpassing 70 points. The Phoenix knocked down a school-record 41 free throws (41-48) against Chicago State, breaking a program record which had stood for 32-plus years since Feb. 23, 1980 (37 vs. Northland). Sykes had 17 of the team's free throws (17-19), breaking the individual record of 15.
THIRTY-SOMETHING: Sykes' effort against Chicago State was the first 30-point game by a Phoenix player since Troy Cotton tallied 36 at Akron on March 17, 2010 and the first under head coach Brian Wardle. It was also the fifth time that a Phoenix player had notched 30 or more points in the Resch Center and first since Ryan Tillema scored 32 against UIC on Feb. 25, 2008.
BLOCK PARTY: In his time at Green Bay, 7-foot-1 Alec Brown has swatted 162 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 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 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. Sykes is the roster's lone player under six feet tall.
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.