Spartans Sunshine State Bound to Battle Stetson
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: David Beall, firstname.lastname@example.org
SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The USC Upstate men's basketball team will look to win its fourth conference road game in five tries Thursday evening, making a Sunshine State swing to take on Stetson in a 7 p.m. tip-off on ASun.TV.
The matchup between the Spartans (13-11, 7-4 A-Sun) and Hatters (9-13, 6-5 A-Sun) is the second clash this season between the two programs and 11th meeting all-time.
Date: Thur. Feb. 7 | 7:00 PM EST
Teams: USC Upstate (13-11, 7-4 A-Sun) at Stetson (9-13, 6-5 A-Sun)
Location: DeLand, Fla. | Edmunds Center (4,000)
Video: ASun.TV | Talent: Robbie Aaron (play-by-play), Ryan Rouse (Analyst)
Radio: ESPN Spartanburg 97.1 FM / 1400 AM | Radio Talent: Phil Cox (play-by-play)
Live Stats: PrestoSports Primetime
Twitter: @UPSTMBB | #UpstateHoops
- Stetson held off a late rally by the Spartans on Jan. 12 for a 66-64 victory in the Hodge Center, knotting the all-time series at 5-5. Upstate dominated its last contest inside the Edmunds Center, winning 79-63 on Dec. 17, 2011 behind a game-high 21 points from Ty Greene.
- The Spartans are 3-1 in conference road games this season, winning those three contests by an average of 18.3 points. Stetson is 3-1 in A-Sun home games with each victory coming by at least nine points.
- Upstate and Stetson are currently the No. 2 and No. 3 scoring offenses in the league respectively, with the Spartans scoring 71.5 points per contest, while the Hatters sit at 70.3.
- The Spartans are one of three teams in the A-Sun with a positive scoring margin this season and Upstate's +5.9 scoring margin is tops in the conference. Florida Gulf Coast (+5.2) and Mercer (+5.0) are the only other teams in the positive. Stetson ranks sixth in the league with a -4.0 scoring margin.
- Upstate has only been outrebounded twice in its last 15 games, including Stetson holding a 37-35 edge in a two-point victory last month inside the Hodge Center. The Spartans lead the league with a +4.4 rebounding margin, while their 13.1 offensive boards per game lead the A-Sun. The Hatters currently rank sixth in the conference with a +0.5 rebounding margin.
- Upstate's +1.12 turnover margin is second-best in the A-Sun, while its 1.2 assist/turnover ratio is the best in the league. Stetson ranks just behind the Spartans in assist/turnover ratio at 1.1, but its -3.14 turnover margin in the second worst in the conference.
- Jodd Maxey continues to pace the league in total blocks with 41 and blocks per game at 1.7. In Upstate's last five games, Maxey has recorded 15 blocks, including a season-high six blocks against Lipscomb and five more against North Florida. The junior has 88 career blocks in just 58 games at Upstate.
- For the first time this season, Upstate has three players averaging double figures after a 14-point performance against Northern Kentucky last Saturday elevated Ricardo Glenn to 10.0 points per game for the year. He joins Torrey Craig (16.9) and Greene (12.8) in double digit scoring. Glenn also ranks third in the league in field goal percentage at .584 and tops the conference with 8.2 rebounds per game and 4.0 offensive boards per contest.
- The Spartans are outscoring their opponents by 4.2 points per game in the first half and 1.2 points per contest in the second half. Upstate is 11-3 when leading at halftime and 11-0 when holding an advantage with five minutes remaining in the game. Ironically enough, the Spartans are just 4-6 when scoring the first points of the contest, while sitting at 9-5 when the opponent jumps on top first.
NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTION: Torrey Craig has been honored by College Hoops Daily as the Atlantic Sun Conference Player of the Month during January. The defending A-Sun Player of the Year was honored with the same award following a stellar November campaign. Players are selected based on the best fantasy and statistical value for their respective programs. Craig is currently third in the league in scoring at 16.9 points per game, sitting just behind Markeith Cummings and Parker Smith who are tied for the lead at 17.0. The Great Falls, S.C., native is in search of his second-straight A-Sun Player of the Year award and third major conference award in as many seasons.
POWER RANKINGS BY POMEROY: In the latest rankings by ESPN contributor Ken Pomeroy, the Spartans are the second highest ranked team in the A-Sun behind FGCU (151) and rated No. 165 in the country. Upstate has won nine of its last 13 games with two of those losses coming by a combined three points. Through various formulas and statistical methods, Pomeroy develops the rankings that many think could be as accurate as any available. The Spartans rank as the No. 4 team in the state of South Carolina, sitting only behind Clemson (82), College of Charleston (135) and Charleston Southern (163). Upstate is ranked ahead of South Carolina (198) and Coastal Carolina (200) in the Palmetto State.
WHAT THEY ARE SAYING: (Baylor's Scott Drew) "This is a game that as a coach, you know that your opponent is a lot better than people might realize. You can see them in the NCAA tournament winning a game."
(Kansas State's Bruce Weber) "They have a really good ball club. When we looked at it going into all these non-conference games they had 21 wins last year and the best turn-around in the country."
(Saint Louis' Jim Crews) "I thought they were good coming in, and I know they're good coming out. Every time we made a mistake, they drilled us every single time. It was uncanny. If we made a defensive slip, we got burned."