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Sophomore Raymon Pratt brings his defensive intensity back to the Aggies lineup. Photo by Kevin L. Dorsey
Courtesy: NC A&T Sports Information

Aggie Men Open Against The Pride

Courtesy: NC A&T Sports Information
          Release: 11/10/2017
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Greensboro College (0-0) vs. North Carolina A&T (0-0)
Date:
 November 10, 2017       
Time: 8 p.m.
Facility: Corbett Sports Center    
Series: A&T leads, 5-0
Radio: ESPN Triad Radio, 1320AM/1230 AM/93.7 FM/104.9 FM

PROBABLE STARTERS: F Denzel Keyes (6-4, 210, R-Sr.); F Femi Olujobi (6-8, 233, R-Jr.); G Devonte Boykins (6-2, 180, Gr.); G Kameron Langley (6-2, 205, Fr.); G Kwei Lartey (6-4, 200, Jr.).   

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Aggies Overview:  North Carolina A&T enters the 2017-18 season with a new look, a new attitude and nine new players who did not play on the Aggies three-win team from the 2016-17 season. In addition to those nine players, Denzel Keyes returns to the men’s basketball team after sitting out the 2016-17 season which preceded his senior season on the football field. The record-breaking wide receiver for the Aggies brings athleticism, tremendous leaping ability and defensive intensity to the Aggies lineup. Keyes led the Aggies in rebounding during the 2015-16 season at 7.3 per game. There are some returning players who can play a big role for the Aggies this season. Senior Davaris McGowens registered seven double-doubles last season while leading the Aggies in rebounding at 6.9 per game. Sophomore guard Raymon Pratt should also add some defensive tenacity for the Aggies, while point guard Austin Williams is in his fourth year with the program. Redshirt junior Amari Hamilton shot .352 from 3-point range, while senior Donte Watson showed an ability to score points in bunches last season.

GREENSBORO COLLEGE OVERVIEW:  The Pride normally comes into Corbett Sports Center and give the Aggies a difficult test for portions of the game. Last season, the Pride only trailed by four at halftime and were within two points with 10 minutes remaining in the game. The Pride are led by head coach Bryan Galuski who is in his 12th season with GC and his 156 wins makes him the program’s all-time leader in coaching victories. Sophomore Darus Maddox, a 5-foot-11 guard out of Lusby, Md., came off the bench last season to score nine points for the Pride. Senior Joseph Gatling had an off-night at Corbett last season, going just 2-for-11 from the floor, but he is the Pride’s leading scorer from a year ago, averaging 16.2 points in 24 games played. Donavan Griffith led the Pride in rebounding versus the Aggies last season with six. He was the team’s second leading scorer and leading rebounder last season at 15.7 points and 8.2 rebounds per game.

Stepping Up: Senior forward Davaris McGowens has a chance to be a key figure in the resurgence of the men’s basketball program. Over the final three games of last season, McGowens averaged 11.0 points and 8.7, while shooting 14-for-24 (.583) from the floor and averaging 30.7 minutes.

News & Notes:

  • North Carolina A&T’s 2017-18 roster consists of four freshmen, four junior college transfers, three Division I transfers, one graduate transfer, one fifth-year player, one four-year senior, one junior and one sophomore.
  • In the five previous meetings against Greensboro College, the Aggies have won by an average of 23.2 points with the closest contests being last season’s 67-50 win at Corbett Sports on Nov. 11. The Aggies have won four out of their last five season openers with all four wins coming against GC. The one loss was to nationally-ranked Purdue in 2015-16.
  • N.C. A&T’s Denzel Keyes, Femi Olujobi, Japhet Kadji and Aaren Edmead will be trying to remove some rust once the season starts. Keyes’ last college basketball game was played on March 7, 2016. He had 18 points and 13 rebounds on 6-for-11 shooting in a MEAC tournament loss to Coppin State. Olujobi last played on March 30, 2016 when his Oakland University team dropped a 68-67 decision to Old Dominion. Kadji and Edmead’s last games were played on March 19, 2016 in a loss to Creighton. Kadji played 10 minutes, Edmead started and played 16.
  • N.C. A&T will play an ACC team for the 30th time when the travel to play Clemson 2 p.m., Sunday following Friday’s contest against the Pride. The Aggies are 0-29 against teams who were ACC teams at the time the Aggies played them.