FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: David Beall, firstname.lastname@example.org
SPARTANBURG, S.C. – With all five starters returning and a senior-laden squad set to take the floor for the USC Upstate men's basketball team in 2013-14, expectations continue to rise as head coach Eddie Payne releases a sneak peek of the challenging upcoming schedule for the Spartans.
Upstate will open the season against two of the toughest conferences in the country, traveling to the campus of Virginia Tech University to battle the Hokies in Cassell Coliseum Nov. 9, before turning around and taking on the University of Tennessee in Thompson-Boling Arena Nov. 16.
Virginia Tech is coming off a 13-win season, including an upset of 15th-ranked Oklahoma State, while the Volunteers posted a 20-win campaign in 2012-13 before falling to Atlantic Sun Conference member Mercer University in the opening round of the National Invitation Tournament (NIT).
Early season road games against Atlantic Coast Conference and Southeastern Conference opponents will prepare the Spartans for four non-conference home games inside the Hodge Center.
Upstate will embark on the home portion of its non-conference schedule Nov. 25, welcoming Bob Jones University, before Tennessee State comes calling on the final day of November.
A pair of December home non-conference contests features UNC Asheville Dec. 15 and North Greenville Dec. 18.
The Spartans posted their biggest late-game rally of the year last season at UNC Asheville, erasing a 16-point deficit with under 15 minutes remaining to knock off the Bulldogs in dramatic fashion.
Upstate returns a loaded starting lineup and experienced depth in 2013-14, including all five starters from a team that nearly missed the A-Sun Tournament title game and lost by a single point in overtime to "Sweet 16" participant FGCU.
Finishing last season averaging 17.2 points per game, Torrey Craig took home the A-Sun scoring title in consecutive seasons, becoming just the second player in conference history to do so after Centenary's Willie Jackson was tops in the league for three straight seasons from 1981-84.
With 1,559 career points, Craig is fourth in program history on the all-time scoring list and will have a chance to end his storied career as the No. 2 scorer in school history if he continues his career average of 16.1 points per game next season.
Stay tuned in the coming weeks as the entire 2013-14 schedule will be released, featuring another powerhouse road contest and a full slate of A-Sun games.
Dates to Remember
Nov. 9 - at Virginia Tech (Season Opener)
Nov. 16 - at University of Tennessee
Nov. 25 - Bob Jones University
Nov. 30 - Tennessee State
Dec. 15 - UNC Asheville
Dec. 18 - North Greenville