By: Andrew Gavin (@GBGavin)
GREEN BAY, Wis.
(GreenBayPhoenix.com) - For the first
time in three weeks and just the third time in 2012-13, Green Bay plays on its
home floor at the Resch Center on Saturday night, hosting Southern Illinois at
7 p.m. The Phoenix, the only Horizon League team to have played just two home
games this season, kicks off a four-game homestand and will play eight of its
next 10 games in Green Bay.
In conjunction with the game, the first 1,000 youth
fans will receive a Titanium Phoenix Necklace presented by Baylake Bank. The contest
will mark the first Festival Foods Family Game of the season, with adult
tickets starting at just $8 and youth tickets starting at only $7. Hot dogs
and small sodas will also be sold for just $1. After the game, the Phoenix
players will welcome youth fans to the floor for Free Throws with the Phoenix
and to sign autographs.
Southern Illinois and the Phoenix have met
four times but the Salukis will be playing in Green Bay for the first time. SIU
holds a 3-1 series edge and is making a return trip after Green Bay visited
Carbondale in 2010-11 for a BracketBusters contest. In that game, the Phoenix
fell 61-60 on Feb. 19, 2011. Only five players from either team that played in
that game are on the current rosters - Green Bay juniors Alec Brown (Winona, Minn.), Kam Cerroni (Sussex, Wis.) and Daniel Turner (McCordsville, Ind.) and SIU's Kendal Brown-Surles and Diamond
PHOENIX: Fans in the seats or those
unable to attend Saturday's will be able to follow the action in numerous ways
on Saturday night. The game will be carried live by WDUZ The Fan 107.5 FM/1400
AM and online at thefan1075.com.
The play-by-play voice of the Phoenix Matt Menzl will be on the call with Cordero
Barkley. Live stats and live video will be available on GreenBayPhoenix.com. You can
also stay up-to-date by following @GBPhoenixMBB and @GBGavin on
SWEET HOME: Green Bay is 2-0 at home
this season with wins over Chicago State and North Dakota State back in
November. In the past three seasons under head coach Brian Wardle, the Phoenix is 24-6 at the Resch Center, including a
14-2 mark since the start of the 2011-12 season. Sykes, who is averaging 15.8
points per game, is averaging 26 points per game and has made 21-of-23 free
throws at home this year.
2. SYKES SANS
SOPHOMORE SLUMP: Sophomore Keifer Sykes (Chicago, Ill.) has picked
up where he left off in 2011-12, avoiding the dreaded sophomore slump in the
process. Sykes has reached double figures in eight of nine games this season
and dating back to his freshman campaign has scored 10 or more in 23 of the
past 26 games. Still 18 years old until Dec. 30, the Chicago native is
averaging 15.1 points per game in 26 contests as an 18-year old.
TO THE RESCH: All four of the Green
Bay opponents on the current homestand will be making their first visits to the
Resch Center. Wardle's alma mater, Marquette, will visit Green Bay for the
first time in 11 meetings on Wednesday, Dec. 19 at 7 p.m. Games against two
first-time opponents - South Dakota (Dec. 22) and Illinois-Springfield (Dec.
30) - will wrap up the homestand later this month.
• ROAD TRIPPIN': Wednesday night's game at
Wisconsin was the last non-conference road game for a Green Bay until a
BracketBuster contest in late February. The contest also ended a stretch of seven
of nine games away from home to start the season. The Phoenix has played road
games in five different states and traveled over 4,000 miles during a 35-day
stretch with just one home game.
• CHARITY CASE: The charity stripe has been
kind to the Phoenix this season as Green Bay ranks second in the Horizon League
and 29th nationally in free throw percentage (.759). The Phoenix has connected
on 31 more made free throws than its opponents and has three players shooting
over 85 percent. Cerroni has yet to miss in 16 attempts, senior Brennan Cougill (Sioux City, Iowa) has
made 18-straight free throws (29-33, 87.9%), and sophomore Keifer Sykes is
35-of-40 for 87.5 percent.
• 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 (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 until Dec. 30 when Green Bay hosts
Illinois-Springfield. After playing his first 13 games at age 17, Sykes is now
averaging 15.1 in 26 games as an 18-year old.
• 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 4.9 points and
leads the team in rebounds (7.1), steals (1.2) and blocks (1.2) through nine
games. He has led the team in rebounding in five times.
• SECOND CHANCES: Green Bay has hit the
offensive glass extremely hard this season, grabbing 27 more offensive rebounds
than its opponents. Led by Fouse's 21, Green Bay has four different players
with 10 or more offensive rebounds (Cougill-20, Brown-19, Mays-14). The Phoenix
corralled 11 at Wisconsin and have tallied 10 or more offensive rebounds in
seven of nine games this season. The offensive rebounds have turned into a
109-85 edge in second chance points.
TIDBITS (FOLLOW @GBPHOENIXMBB ON TWITTER)
- Without a miss since Nov. 17, @GBPhoenixMBB senior Brennan Cougill has made 18-straight free throws #gophoenix #HLMBB
- Including his first 16 this season, junior Kam Cerroni
has made 31 consecutive free throws dating back to Feb. 4, 2012 #gophoenix
- Sophomore Keifer Sykes has scored in double figures in
8 of 9 games this year and 23 of his last 26 games #gophoenix #HLMBB
- After playing 13 games as a 17-year old, Sykes will
play 29 games at age 18. Thru 26 games at the age, he's averaging 15.1 ppg
- In a pair of home games at the ReschCenter, @GBPhoenixMBB's Sykes has scored 52
points and made 21-of-23 free throws #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 4 boards in each game #gophoenix #HLMBB
Read a full season preview of the men's basketball team and watch a 1-on-1 interview with Wardle.
Pick 5 packages and single-game tickets 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.
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