Wright State (5-4) at North Carolina A&T (2-5)
Date: December 5, 2013
Time: 7 p.m.
Facility: Corbett Sports Center
Series: Wright State leads 1-0
Webstream: ncataggies.com; Play-by-Play: Spencer Gwynn, Color Analysis: Terry Cooper
PROBABLE STARTERS: G Jeremy Underwood (6-0, 185, Sr., 7.3 ppg, 2.6 apg); G Lamont Middleton (6-3, 205, Sr., 18.9 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 2.6 apg); F Khary Doby (6-6, 206, Fr., 5.1 ppg, 3.1 ppg); F Jerome Simmons (6-8, 225, Fr., 3.2 ppg, 3.7 rpg); C Bryan Akinkugbe (6-9, 225, Jr., 3.5 ppg, 1.8 rpg).
Aggies Overview: Defense will be the key for North Carolina A&T tonight against Wright State. The Aggies are coming off of a week-long road trip in which they went 1-5 with a neutral site win over Longwood. The Aggies had sizeable leads against the likes of Georgia Tech, Longwood and Monmouth, but according to A&T head coach Cy Alexander, the Aggies were not consistent enough on defense to maintain those leads. The Aggies will likely have to play tough defensively without sophomore forward Bruce Beckford. Beckford, the Aggies leading rebounder, will probably miss tonight’s game as he tries to recover from a concussion sustained against Longwood on Nov. 29. The Aggies will still have scoring machines Lamont Middleton and Richaud Pack. Both men have scored in double figures in all seven games this season.
Wright State Overview: The Raiders are a balanced team that loves to play defense. They held the Aggies to just 44 points in their 56-44 win in Dayton, Ohio. Wright State returns 11 players from that team, including JT Yoho who connected on three 3-pointers and scored 15 points. Miles Dixon came off the bench to score 14 for the Raiders. Dixon and Yoho are the second and third-leading scorers for the Raiders. AJ Pacher, who had seven points in last season’s game, leads the Raiders in scoring this season at 11.0 points per game. The Raiders seven players averaging 7.0 points per game or higher. They will be looking for their first road win of the season.
Potential Star: The Aggies will need some rebounding might if Bruce Beckford doesn’t play tonight. Freshman Jerome Simmons could be that guy. He pulls down 3.7 rebounds per game despite playing just 14.3 minutes per game.
News & Notes:
• The Aggies are 10-3 at home under Cy Alexander. Over the past five seasons the Aggies are 40-20 at home over the past five seasons. They have won their six games against mid-majors in the city of Greensboro.
• Alexander was elected to the National Association of Basketball Coaches’ board of directors in July.
• In North Carolina A&T’s seven games this season, the Aggies have held a second-half lead in all of them except at Ole Miss on Nov. 26. The Aggies have held double-digit leads in four of their seven games in 2013-14.
From the coach:
“We have to play with a lot of energy. Wright State is a very good basketball team. They are very well coached. They have a balanced senior oriented team. They have four or five guys who can plays. They have a lot of balance. We’ve got to put a 40-minute game together where we don’t have these four-to-five minute mental lapses, which have really hurt our team. For a young basketball team we have played well in spurts. It’s not easy to go on the road and win. But now we have to learn how to sustain it.”
Men’s Basketball Coach Cy Alexander on Wright State