Sun, Dec 30

Men’s Basketball’s turnaround is the No. 6 story in Aggie Athletics in 2018


EAST GREENSBORO (December 30, 2018) –What is expected from a three-win men’s basketball program in rebuilding mode with a fairly new head coach heading into a new season? 


Maybe they double their previous win total with six victories. Maybe an even 10 wins would be seen as a major improvement. 


Nope. Try 20 wins.


The N.C. A&T men’s basketball team went 3-29 during the 2016-17 season. The expectation was that 2017-18 would be another tough season for the Aggies. They were picked to finish dead last in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference. Head coach Jay Joyner, who was entering his second full season with the Aggies, and his players wanted to tell a different story. 


It was a good enough story to be No. 6 in Aggie Athletics in 2018.  


The Aggies nearly broke the NCAA record for best one-year improvement. The Aggies went from three wins to a 20-15 record improving 17 games to finish one shy of UTEP’s 2003-04 record of an 18-win improvement. The Aggies were aided by seven non-conference wins in 2017. 


Once the calendar flipped to 2018, the Aggies were superb once conference play began. The Aggies started 2018 with a 5-0 record in the league. All of sudden a team predicted to finish last was in contention to win the regular-season crown. The Aggies were in contention late into the season after a huge 86-80 road win at Bethune-Cookman moved the Aggies to 11-4 with a chance to win at least a share of the MEAC regular-season title going into the regular-season finale at N.C. Central. 


The Aggies would lose to NCCU to finish fourth in the league at 11-5. The Aggies did win two MEAC tournament games and advanced to the semifinals where they were eliminated by Hampton. The 2018 season was also highlighted by the fact the Aggies went 12-0 at Corbett Sports Center. They had a 20-win season for just the third time in 30 years. Joyner was named MEAC Coach of the Year. N.C. A&T also earned an invite to the College Tournament.