Miami at No. 6 NC State
Friday, November 9 - 7 p.m.
PNC Arena - Raleigh, N.C.
Radio: Miami IMG Sports Network (WMOH 1450 Hamilton; WFMG 101.3 Richmond; WDBZ 1230 Cincinnati)
REDHAWKS TIP OFF SEASON AT NO. 6 NC STATE: Miami University's men's basketball team takes flight to Raleigh, N.C., to face the No. 6 NC State Wolfpack at 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 9. This is the season opener for both teams. The RedHawks try to open the John Cooper era on a strong note but will be challenged by an NC State squad that returns a solid nucleus of players from a team that advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16 a year ago. Coincidentally, each team returns eight letterwinners, including four starters from a season ago.
GRAND OPENING: For the 37th time in program history, Miami hits the road to open its season. The RedHawks are 15-21 when opening the season on the road and are 72-35 in all-time season openers. Miami has won its last two season openers-both at home-and four of its last five. Last season, the Red and White topped Dayton in a thrilling 72-67 overtime win. The RedHawks have lost their last two when opening their campaign on the road, including a 60-57 loss at Towson in 2009-10. Miami's last win in a season opener on the road was at Liberty to tip off the 2003-04 season, 71-55.
TURNING 108: Miami's game at NC State on Friday, Nov. 9, marks the start of the 108th season of Miami University Basketball.
ABOUT THE WOLFPACK: NC State returns eight letterwinners, including four starters, from a team that posted a 24-13 mark and advanced to the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 a year ago. The Wolfpack is ranked No. 6 in both the preseason Associated Press and USA Today Coaches polls. All four of NC State's returning starters averaged double figures in scoring a year ago. Junior forward C.J. Leslie led the team in scoring, averaging 14.7 ppg, while also averaging 7.3 rpg. Junior guard Lorenzo Brown and senior forward Scott Wood averaged 12.7 ppg and 12.4 ppg, respectively. Brown also averaged an impressive 6.3 apg to rank 12th nationally. Senior forward Richard Howell led the team with a 9.2 rpg average and also averaged 10.8 ppg. NC State defeated Belmont Abbey in an exhibition game on Nov. 3, 105-80. Four players scored 18 or more points, led by Brown's game-high 21-point effort.
SERIES WITH NC STATE: Friday marks the first meeting between Miami and NC State. The Wolfpack is just one of three current ACC programs that Miami has not faced. The RedHawks are 8-16 against ACC schools having faced Boston College (1-1), Clemson (0-1), Duke (0-1), Florida State (0-1), Maryland (0-3), Miami FL (4-5), North Carolina (1-3), Virginia (0-1) and Virginia Tech (1-1). The last time Miami faced an ACC school was when it played at Duke on Nov. 16, 2010. Coincidentally, the last time Miami defeated a ranked team was when it topped then-BIG EAST member No. 11/10 Boston College at the Hawaii Rainbow Classic on Dec. 20, 2001, 73-67.
UP NEXT: Miami returns to Oxford for its home opener against Grambling State on Tuesday, Nov. 13. The game has been declared a Red Out and also is Meet the Team Night. Miami has five days off before a grueling week that starts at No. 2 Louisville on Sunday, Nov. 18, continues at William & Mary on Wednesday, Nov. 21 and concludes at home with James Madison at noon on Saturday, Nov. 24. The RedHawks will then spend their next four games on the road, beginning at IPFW on Saturday, Dec. 1.
MIAMI SPORTS NETWORK FROM IMG COLLEGE: In its sixth year of its partnership with IMG College, the Miami Sports Network from IMG College continues its coverage of Miami men's basketball with a group of affiliates blanketing most of Southwest Ohio and Southeast Indiana. "The Voice of the RedHawks" Steve Baker delivers the play-by-play coverage, while Terry Bridge provides color commentary. Tune in to one of Miami's game-day affiliates: WMOH-AM 1450 (Hamilton, OH), WFMG-FM 101.3 (Richmond, IN), WDBZ-AM 1230 (Cincinnati, OH), MURedHawks.com (All-Access Subscription).
A NEW LOOK: Miami welcomes head coach John Cooper, who is in his first season patrolling the Miami sidelines, along with associate head coach Rick Duckett, assistant coaches Sheldon Everett and Trey Meyer and director of video operations Brandon Lincoln. The RedHawks look to showcase an up-tempo style that is predicated on an aggressive and strong defensive effort. In addition to a new staff and a different style of play, the RedHawks also are sporting new uniforms.
THE RETURNERS: Miami returns eight letterwinners and four starters from a season ago. The RedHawk returners have played in a combined 354 games and have made 159 career starts for MU. Center Vince Legarza is the RedHawks' lone senior, but Miami boasts seven juniors on its roster. Junior guards Quinten Rollins and Josh Sewell are returning starters from last year as are junior forward Jon Harris and junior center Drew McGhee. Junior guard Allen Roberts returns after sitting out last season due to injury, and junior forward Bill Edwards also returns after being sidelined much of the season due to an injury. Miami also brings back sophomore guards Will Sullivan and Joe Mezher along with sophomore center Jared Tadlock.
THE NEWCOMERS: Miami adds a talented class of newcomers to its 2012-13 roster. After sitting out last season due to NCAA transfer guidelines, junior forward Will Felder is able to suit up for the RedHawks in 2012-13. Miami has two talented freshmen in guards Geovonie McKnight and Reggie Johnson. Joining the team but sitting out the season due to NCAA transfer guidelines is sophomore center John Hawkins, who played at Palm Beach Atlantic last season. The RedHawks also have a walk-on in sophomore guard Ryan Hess, who also will be sitting out this season after transferring from Saint Joseph's.
CLOSING IN ON 600: This season, Miami University's men's basketball program looks to become the first in Mid-American Conference history to reach 600 MAC wins. In 65 years in the MAC, Miami has amassed 597 conference wins, posted a .630 winning percentage and captured 21 MAC regular-season titles.
EXHIBITION ACTION: In a tune-up for the season, Miami hosted Maryville on Oct. 31, defeating the Saints, 73-64. Miami received a balanced scoring effort with 10 of 11 RedHawks who saw action scoring points. Junior forward Will Felder had a solid game with 15 points and nine rebounds. Junior guard Allen Roberts and junior center Drew McGhee also scored in double figures with 10 points apiece, while junior guard Quinten Rollins chipped in eight points, five assists and five steals.
ODDS 'N ENDS: The RedHawks return 52.8 percent of their scoring and 48.5 percent of their rebounding from a season ago ... Miami was predicted to finish sixth in the MAC East Division in a poll of the MAC News Media.
A MIAMI WIN WOULD ...
- Be Miami's third-straight season-opening win.
- Be the RedHawks' first win over a ranked opponent since 2001.
- Make Miami 73-35 in season openers.
A MIAMI LOSS WOULD ...
- Be Miami's third straight loss when opening the season on the road.
- Drop the RedHawks to 15-22 in season openers on the road.
- Give NC State a 1-0 lead in the all-time series.